Brian W. Tague


Arabidopsis thaliana

Associate Professor of Biology

Sc.B. Biology, Brown University (1981)
A.B. American Civilization, Brown University (1981)
Ph.D. University of California, San Diego (1989)
NSF Post-doctoral Fellowship, Department of Molecular Biology, Mass. General Hospital, Boston

49 Winston Hall
(336) 758-5016
fax: (336) 758-6008

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Areas of Interest

Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology


Micrograph of Arabidopsis


Our lab uses molecular genetic techniques to study plant cell biology and development. One organism studied is Arabidopsis thaliana, a member of the mustard family that has become an important model system for plant molecular biology. This area of research concentrates on the functional analysis of a family of genes encoding zinc finger proteins. The zinc finger motif is a DNA-binding domain found in transcription factors from a variety of plants and other non-green organisms. Little is known about the function of zinc finger proteins in higher plants.

Additional research is directed to applying the knowledge and tools developed for Arabidopsis, such as the germ-line transformation technique, to related plants. A primary focus in this regard is an analysis of the signal transduction pathway for flowering in biennials. The crucifer Barbarea verna is an obligate biennial; the cold, photoperiod, and hormone requirements for flowering in B. verna are being analyzed. A transformation protocol for B. verna is being developed, ultimately to study the effect of overexpression of Arabidopsis genes known to induce precocious flowering.

Selected Publications

BW Tague, B Ferguson, S Homsi, RK Neil, KO Kidd-Pettit. 2004. Floral induction in the biennial crucifer, Barbarea verna. Flowering Newsletter 37: 24-31

BW Tague and J Mantis. 2006. “In planta Agrobacterium-mediated transformation by vacuum infiltration,” in Arabidopsis Protocols, 2nd ed. (J Salinas and JJ Sanchez-Serrano, eds). Humana Press, Totowa NJ, in press.

R Todd and BW Tague. 2001. Phosphomannose isomerase, a versatile selectable marker for Arabidopsis thaliana transformation. Plant Molecular Biology Reporter 19:307-319

WA Peer, AS Murphy, DE Brown, BW Tague, GK Muday and L Taiz. 2001. Flavonol precursor accumulation patterns correlate with developmental phenotypes of transparent testa mutants of Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant Physiology 126:536-548.

DE Brown, AM Rashotte, AS Murphy, BW Tague, WA Peer, L Taiz, and GK Muday. 2001. Flavonoids act as negative regulators of auxin transport in vivo in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant Physiology 126:524-535.

BW Tague. 2001. Germ-line transformation of Arabidopsis lasiocarpa. Transgenic Research 10:259-267.

J Mantis and BW Tague. 2000. Comparing the utility of β-glucuronidase and green fluorescent protein for detection of weak promoter activity in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant Molecular Biology Reporter 18:319-330.

HE Chrispeels, H Oettinger, N Janvier and BW Tague. 2000. AtZFP1, encoding Arabidopsis thaliana C2H2 zinc-finger protein 1, is expressed downstream of photomorphogenic activation. Plant Molecular Biology 42:279-290.

BW Tague, P Gallant, and HM Goodman. 1997. Expression analysis of an Arabidopsis C2H2 zinc finger protein gene. Plant Molecular Biology. 32:785-796.

BW Tague and HM Goodman. 1995. Characterization of a family of Arabidopsis zinc finger protein genes. Plant Molecular Biology 28:267-279.