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. The goal of our research is to understand how polyamine synthesis and transport are regulated to enable plants to respond optimally to environmental signals.  

Selected Publications:

Wagner A, Chatterjee P, Norris S, Morris P, Wildschutte H. 2018. Aquatic pseudomonads inhibit oomycete plant pathogens. Frontiers Microbiol, 29 May 2018

Patel J, Ariyaratne M, Ahmed S, Ge L, Phuntumart V, Kalinoski A, Morris PF. 2017.

Dual functioning of plant arginases provides a third route for putrescine synthesis. Plant Sci. 2017 Sep;262:62-73. doi: 10.1016/j.plantsci.2017.05.011.

Sheaza Ahmed, Menaka Ariyaratne, Jigar Patel, Alexander E Howard, Andrea Kalinoski, Vipaporn Phuntumart and Paul F. Morris 2017. Altered expression of polyamine transporters reveals a role for spermidine in the timing of flowering and other developmental response pathways.  Plant Science 2017.

R.E. Edgar, P.F. Morris, M.J. Rozmarynowycz, N.A. D'souza,M. Moniruzzamanc,R.A. Bourbonniere, G.S. Bullerjahn, V. Phuntumart, S.W. Wilhelm, R.M.L. McKay. 2016. Adaptations to photoautotrophy associated with seasonal ice cover in a large lake revealed by metatranscriptome analysis of a winter diatom bloom. J Great Lakes Res

Fu L, Zhu C, Ding X, Yang X, Morris PF, Tyler BM, Zhang X. 2015. Characterization of

Cell-Death-Inducing Members of the Pectate Lyase Gene Family in Phytophthora capsici and Their Contributions to Infection of Pepper. Mol Plant Microbe Interact. 2015 Jul;28(7):766-75. doi: 10.1094/MPMI-11-14-0352-R. Epub 2015 Jul 8. PubMed PMID: 25775270.