Paul Morris

Dr. Paul F. Morris  

Ph. D., Queen's University, Canada   

Office:     532A Life Sciences Building
Phone:   1-419-372-0481

Research:  Oomycete genomics, Polyamine metabolism and transport

Morris Lab Page

Kids' Tech University




Research Interests:

Oomycete genomics. The oomycetes which include the Phytophthora species, are amongst the most destructive and economically important plant pathogens around the world. Genomic analysis has revealed the importance of horizontal gene transfers from the ancestral green algal endosymbiont, and additional gene acquisition events from archaea and bacteria in shaping these genomes. We are particularly interested in the functional analysis of novel metabolic proteins and membrane transporters.

Polyamine transport. In plants, changes in cellular levels of polyamines are strongly correlated with the response to stresses such as drought, salinity, temperature fluctuations, and developmental processes such as root growth, and floral initiation. We hypothesized that polyamine transport, in addition to biosynthesis and metabolism, is additional way of regulating localized changes in polyamine levels. Using a comparative genomics approach, we have identified four families of polyamine-specific transporters. Our experiments show that alterations in the expression of these transporters, change both polyamine levels in those tissues and subsequent gene expression patterns.

Environmental Metagenomics. Transcriptome analysis of the winter algal bloom that occurs annually under the ice of Lake Erie has been used to gain insights on this diatom community.  With the assistance of a Community Sequencing Grant from the DOE, we are also examining the spatial and temporal complexity of microbial population of Lake Erie contributing to the oxygen depletion events in the central basin of Lake Erie during the summer months.  

Selected Publications:

Jiang, R.H.Y., de Bruijn, I., Haas, B.J., Belmonte, R., Löbach, L et al. 2013. Distinctive expansion of potential virulence genes in the genome of the oomycete fish pathogen Saprolegnia parastica. PLOS Genetics DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.100327

Mulangi, V.; Chibucos, M.C., Phuntumart, V.; Morris P. 2012 Kinetic and phylogenetic analysis of plant polyamine transporters Planta 236: 1261-1273

Mulangi, V., Phuntumart, V., Aouida, M., Ramotar, D., Morris P. 2012 Functional analysis of OsPUT1 a rice polyamine uptake transporter Planta 235:1-11.

Baxter L, Tripathy S, Ishaque N, Boot N, Cabral, A, Kemen, E, Thines M, Ah-Fong A, et al. 2010 Signatures of adaptation to obligate biotrophy in the Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis genome. Science 330:1543-1546.

Lévesque CA, Brouwer H, Cano L, Hamilton JP, Holt C, Huitema E, Raffaele S, Robideau GP, et al. 2010 Genome sequence of the necrotrophic plant pathogen Pythium ultimum reveals original pathogenicity mechanisms and effector repertoire. Genome Biol. 11: R73.

Haas BJ, Kamoun S, Zody MC, Jiang RH, Handsaker RE, Cano LM, Grabherr M, et al. 2009 Genome sequence and analysis of the Irish Potato famine pathogen Phytophthora infestans. Nature 461:393-398.

Morris, PF, Schlosser, LR Onasch, KD, Wittenschlaeger, T, Austin R, Provart, N 2009 Multiple horizontal gene transfer events and domain fusions have created novel regulatory and metabolic networks in the oomycete genome. PLoS ONE 4(7): e6133.

Tyler, B. M., Tripathy, S., Zhang, X., Dehal, P., Jiang, R. H. Y., Aerts, A., Arredondo, F. D., et al. 2006 Phytophthora Genome Sequences Uncover Evolutionary Origins and Mechanisms of Pathogenesis. Science 313: 1261-1266.