Jennifer Normanly

Professor and Head, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Massachusetts

J. Normanly Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Website

Ph.D.: California Institute of Technology
Postdoctoral Training: The Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research

High Throughput Metabolic Profiling

Regulation of signaling metabolites and cellulosic biofuel feedstock development. We use a variety of plant systems including the model flowering plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, tobacco, rice, and the model grass, Brachypodium distachyon to characterize homeostasis mechanisms (i.e. how levels are regulated within the cell) for metabolites that function as signaling compounds. For example, we use stable isotope labeling to examine the regulation of growth and development by the signaling molecule indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), also known as auxin. We are developing analytical tools (primarily high throughput sample prep, quantitative metabolite profiling, and fluorescence-based cell sorting) and mutants that are disrupted in some aspect of metabolite regulation in order to characterize IAA homeostasis. Mass spectrometry features prominently in our experimental approach. Our long-term goal is to understand how auxin biosynthetic pathways interact with biosynthetic pathways for other important signaling molecules such as cytokinins, gibberellins, salicylic acid, ethylene, jasmonic acid, abscisic acid and brassinolide and to apply this knowledge to the development and optimization of cellulosic biofuel feedstocks such as Switchgrass.

Representative publications:

Patil, R. A., Kolewe, M. E., Normanly, J., Walker, E. L., Roberts, S. C. Taxane biosynthetic pathway gene expression in Taxus suspension cultures with different bulk paclitaxel accumulation patterns – a molecular level approach to understand variability in paclitaxel accumulation Biotechnology Journal Accepted Article, doi: 10.1002/biot.201100183

Nonhebel, H. M., Yuan, Y., Al-Amier, H., Pieck, M., Akor, E., Ahamed, A., Cohen, J.D., Celenza, J., Normanly, J., Redirection of Trp metabolism in tobacco by ectopic expression of an Arabidopsis indolic glucosinolate biosynthetic gene, Phytochemistry 72:37-48 (2011).

Barkawi, L.S., Tam, Y.-Y., Tillman, J. A., Normanly, J., Cohen, J. D., A High Throughput Method for the Quantitative Analysis of Auxins, Nature Protocols 5: 1609-1618 (2010).

Prusty Rao, R., Hunter, A., Kashpur, O., Normanly, J. Aberrant synthesis of indole-3-acetic acid in Saccharomyces cerevisiae triggers morphogenic transition, a virulence trait of dimorphic pathogenic fungi, Genetics 185: 211-220 (2010)]

Normanly, J. Approaching cellular and molecular resolution of auxin biosynthesis and metabolism in Cold Spring Harbor Lab Perspectives: Auxin Signaling, eds. M. Estelle, D. Weijers, K. Ljung, O. Leyser, doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a001594 (2009)

Kramer, E.M., Lewandowski, M., Beri, S., Bernard, J., Borkowski, M. Burchfield, L. A., Mathisen, B., Normanly, J. Auxin gradients are associated with polarity changes in trees, Science 320:1610 (2008)

Barkawi, L., Tam, Y., Tillman, J., Calio, J., Al-Amier, H., Emerick, M., Normanly, J., Cohen, J., A high-throughput method for the quantitative analysis of indole-3-acetic acid and other auxins from plant tissue, Analytical Biochemistry 372: 177-188 (2008)

Calio, J., Tam, Y.Y., and Normanly, J. Auxin Biology and Biosynthesis in Recent Advances in Phytochemistry: Integrative Plant Biochemistry, ed, J. Romeo, Elsevier, vol 40: 287-305 (2006).

Ljung,K.,  Hull, A., Celenza, J., Yamada, M., Estelle, M., Normanly, J., and Sandberg, G. Sites and regulation of auxin biosynthesis in Arabidopsis roots.Plant Cell, 17:1090-1140 (2005)

Celenza, J.L., Quiel, J.A., Smolen, G.A., Merrikh, H., Silvestro, A., Normanly, J., and  Bender J. The Arabidopsis ATR1 Myb transcription factor controls indolic glucosinolate homeostasis.Plant Physiology, 137:253-262 (2005)

Normanly, J, Sovin, JP, and Cohen, JD Auxin Metabolism in Plant Hormones: Biosynthesis, Signal Transduction, Action! 3rd edition. P.J. Davies, ed. Kluwer Academic Publishers: Dordrecht, The Netherlands. pp 36-62 (2004)

Zhao, Y., Hull, A. K., Gupta, N., Goss, K. A., Alonso, J., Ecker, J. R., Normanly, J., Chory, J., and Celenza, J. L. Trp-dependent auxin biosynthesis in Arabidopsis: involvement of cytochrome P450s CYP79B2 and CYP79B3. Genes and Development 16:3100-3112 (2002)

Tam, Y. Y., and Normanly, J. Overexpression of a bacterial indole-3-acetyl-L-aspartic acid hydrolase in Arabidopsis thaliana. Physiologia Plantarum 115:513-522 (2002)

Brown, D.E., Rashotte, A. M., Murphy, A. S., Normanly, J., Tague, B. W., Peer, W. A., Taiz, L., and Muday, G. K. Flavonoids act as negative regulators of auxin transport in vivo in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant Physiology 126 (2): 524-535 (2001).

Tam, Y. Y, Epstein, E. and Normanly, J. Characterization of auxin conjugates in Arabidopsis. Low steady-state levels of indole-3-acetyl-aspartate, indole-3-acetyl-glutamate, and indole-3-acetyl-glucose. Plant Physiology 123:589-595 (2000)

Normanly, J. and Bartel, B. Redundancy as a way of life: IAA metabolism. Current Opinion in Plant Biology 2, 207-213 (1999)

Quirino, B., Normanly, J. and Amasino, R. M. Diverse range of gene activity during Arabidopsis thaliana leaf senescence includes pathogen-independent induction of defense-related genes. Plant Molecular Biology 40:267-278 (1999).

Tam, Y. Y. and Normanly, J. Determination of indole-3-pyruvic acid levels in Arabidopsis thaliana by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Journal of Chromatography A 800, 101-108 (1998)

Normanly, J., Grisafi, P., Fink, G. R., and Bartel, B. Arabidopsis thaliana mutants resistant to the auxin effects of indole-3-acetonitrile are defective in the nitrilase encoded by the NIT1 gene. The Plant Cell 9, 1781-1790 (1997)

Normanly, J Auxin Metabolism. Physiologia Plantarum 100, 431-442 (1997).

Normanly, J., Slovin, J. P., and Cohen, J. D. Rethinking IAA metabolism. Plant Physiology 107, 323-329 (1995) .