Compartmentalization of metabolic pathways and other cellular functions is a hallmark of eukaryotic cells. This feature is extreme in plants due to the presence of organelles not found in most other eukaryotes - plastids. Plastids are a diverse group of interrelated organelles that perform a wide range of metabolic functions including photosynthesis, nitrogen and sulfur assimilation and the synthesis of amino acids, starch and fatty acids. These functions are coordinated with metabolic processes in the cytosol through dynamic exchange of metabolites and ions across the plastid inner envelope membrane.
My lab is studying phosphate (Pi) transport processes that link the metabolic pathways in the plastid and cytosol. The concentrations of Pi in the cytosol and plastid stroma influence photosynthesis and the partitioning and storage of fixed carbon. Transporters involved in the movement of Pi across the plastid inner membrane include members of the pPT, PHT2 and PHT4 families. We are using genetics, cell biology, biochemistry and molecular physiology to investigate the function and physiological roles of these transporters. Recent findings suggest that some members of the PHT4 family are targeted to chloroplasts, whereas others function in heterotrophic plastids and one resides in the Golgi apparatus.
Other projects in the lab include the genetic and biochemical characterization of Pi transport processes in the filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa. Mutants with altered phosphate uptake properties have been isolated, and these have led to the identification of Pi transporter genes, as well as genes with putative regulatory functions.
- Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation - (Ardmore, Oklahoma, United States), Postdoctoral Training 2000
- Ph.D. in Biomolecular Chemistry, University of Wisconsin - Madison - (Madison, Wisconsin, United States) 1995
- M.Sc. in Biochemistry, University of Nebraska–Lincoln - (Lincoln, United States) 1990
- B.S. in Food Science, University of Nebraska–Lincoln - (Lincoln, United States) 1987
- Voon, C. P., Guan, X., Sun, Y., Sahu, A., Chan, M. N., Gardeström, P., ... Lim, B. L. (2018). ATP compartmentation in plastids and cytosol of Arabidopsis thaliana revealed by fluorescent protein sensing. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 115(45), 201711497-E10787.
- Zhang, W., Lo, I., Hu, L., Voon, C. P., Lim, B. L., & Versaw, W. K. (2018). Environmental Risks of Nano Zerovalent Iron for Arsenate Remediation: Impacts on Cytosolic Levels of Inorganic Phosphate and MgATP2- in Arabidopsis thaliana.. Environmental Science and Technology. 52(7), 4385-4392.
- Chiou, T., Versaw, W. K., & Fujiwara, T. (2017). Editorial overview: Cell signaling and gene regulation: nutrient sensing, signaling, and transport. Current Opinion in Plant Biology. 39, iii-v.
- Okumoto, S., & Versaw, W. (2017). Genetically encoded sensors for monitoring the transport and concentration of nitrogen-containing and phosphorus-containing molecules in plants. Current Opinion in Plant Biology. 39, 129-135.
- Versaw, W. K., & Garcia, L. R. (2017). Intracellular transport and compartmentation of phosphate in plants. Current Opinion in Plant Biology. 39, 25-30.
- Karlsson, P. M., Irigoyen, S., Versaw, W. K., & Spetea, C. (2013). The Physiological Role of Arabidopsis Thylakoid Phosphate Transporter PHT4;1. Photosynthesis Research for Food, Fuel and the Future. (pp. 590-592). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.
- Versaw, W. K., Chiou, T., & Harrison, M. J. (2002). Phosphate transporters of Medicago truncatula and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Plant and Soil. 244(1-2), 239-245.
- Versaw, W. K., Blank, V., Andrews, N. M., & Bresnick, E. H. (1998). Mitogen-activated protein kinases enhance long-range activation by the β-globin locus control region. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 95(15), 8756-8760.
- Banerjee, Swayoma (2017-08). Live Cell Imaging of Inorganic Phosphate Distribution in Multicellular Organisms Using a FRET Based Biosensor. (Doctoral Dissertation)
- Mukherjee, Pallavi (2013-12). Live Imaging of Subcellular Phosphate Pools in Plants. (Doctoral Dissertation)
- Irigoyen Aranda, Sonia Cristina (2011-08). Plastidic Pi transporters in Arabidopsis thaliana. (Doctoral Dissertation)
- Guo, Biwei (2008-05). Functional analysis of the Arabidopsis PHT4 family of intracellular phosphate transporters. (Master's Thesis)
- Kennedy, Patrick Wade (2005-12). Ambient pH signaling influences phosphate transport in Neurospora crassa. (Master's Thesis)