Nicholas Morffy

Nicholas Morffy
Duke University | DU · Department of Biology

Doctor of Philosophy

About

15
Publications
1,858
Reads
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585
Citations
Additional affiliations
July 2018 - present
Washington University in St. Louis
Position
  • PostDoc Position
August 2013 - July 2018
University of Georgia
Position
  • PhD Student
March 2012 - July 2013
University of South Florida
Position
  • Technician
Education
August 2013 - July 2018
University of Georgia
Field of study
  • Genetics
August 2007 - May 2011
University of Florida
Field of study
  • Biology

Publications

Publications (15)
Article
Full-text available
Auxin critically regulates plant growth and development. Auxin-driven transcriptional responses are mediated through the AUXIN RESPONSE FACTOR (ARF) family of transcription factors. ARF protein condensation attenuates ARF activity, resulting in dramatic shifts in the auxin transcriptional landscape. Here, we perform a forward genetics screen for AR...
Article
Full-text available
Photoactivated phytochrome B (PHYB) binds to antagonistically acting PHYTOCHROME-INTERACTING transcription FACTORs (PIFs) to regulate hundreds of light responsive genes in Arabidopsis by promoting PIF degradation. However, whether PHYB directly controls the transactivation activity of PIFs remains ambiguous. Here we show that the prototypic PIF, PI...
Article
A study of a synthetic auxin response circuit in a heterologous system suggests that hindrance of Mediator complex function by the co-repressor TOPLESS may represent a form of promoter pausing, a mechanism that has not been described in plants before.
Article
Auxin signaling regulates growth and developmental processes in plants. The core of nuclear auxin signaling relies on just three components: TIR1/AFBs, Aux/IAAs, and ARFs. Each component is itself made up of several domains, all of which contribute to the regulation of auxin signaling. Studies of the structural aspects of these three core signaling...
Preprint
Phytochrome B (PHYB) triggers diverse light responses in Arabidopsis by binding to a group of antagonistically acting PHYTOCHROME-INTERACTING transcription FACTORs (PIFs) to promote PIF degradation, consequently downregulating PIF target genes. However, whether PHYB directly controls the transactivation activity of PIFs remains ambiguous. Here we s...
Preprint
Full-text available
Auxin critically regulates nearly every aspect of plant growth and development. Auxin-driven transcriptional responses are mediated through the AUXIN RESPONSE FACTOR (ARF) family of transcription factors. Although ARF protein stability is regulated via the 26S proteasome, molecular mechanisms underlying ARF stability and turnover are unknown. Here,...
Article
Auxin is an important signaling molecule synthesized in organisms from multiple kingdoms of life, including land plants, green algae, and bacteria. In this review, we highlight the similarities and differences in auxin biosynthesis among these organisms. Tryptophan-dependent routes to IAA are found in land plants, green algae and bacteria. Recent s...
Article
Karrikins (KARs) are butenolides found in smoke that can influence germination and seedling development of many plants. The KAR signaling mechanism is hypothesized to be very similar to that of the plant hormone strigolactone (SL). Both pathways require the F-box protein MORE AXILLARY GROWTH2 (MAX2), and other core signaling components have shared...
Article
Localized maxima of the plant hormone auxin are crucial to root development and meristem maintenance. In this issue of Developmental Cell, Brumos et al. used elegant genetic and grafting experiments to distinguish between the contributions of local and distal auxin sources to auxin maxima generation and root meristem maintenance.
Article
Full-text available
Main conclusion SMAX1andSMXL2control seedling growth, demonstrating functional redundancy within a gene family that mediates karrikin and strigolactone responses. Strigolactones (SLs) are plant hormones with butenolide moieties that control diverse aspects of plant growth, including shoot branching. Karrikins (KARs) are butenolide molecules found i...
Article
Karrikins and strigolactones are two classes of butenolide molecules that have diverse effects on plant growth. Karrikins are found in smoke and strigolactones are plant hormones, yet both molecules are likely recognized through highly similar signaling mechanisms. Here we review the most recent discoveries of karrikin and strigolactone perception...
Article
The plant hormones strigolactones and smoke-derived karrikins are butenolide signals that control distinct aspects of plant development. Perception of both molecules in Arabidopsis thaliana requires the F-box protein MORE AXILLARY GROWTH2 (MAX2). Recent studies suggest that the homologous SUPPRESSOR OF MAX2 1 (SMAX1) in Arabidopsis and DWARF53 (D53...
Article
Full-text available
Protein neddylation is involved in a wide variety of cellular processes. Here we show that the DNA damage response is perturbed in cells inactivated with an E2 Nedd8 conjugating enzyme UBE2M, measured by RAD51 foci formation kinetics and cell based DNA repair assays. UBE2M knockdown increases DNA breakages and cellular sensitivity to DNA damaging a...
Article
Soluble amyloid-β (Aβ) oligomers are hypothesized to be the pathogenic species in Alzheimer's disease (AD), and increased levels of oligomers in the brain following traumatic brain injury (TBI) may exacerbate secondary injury pathways and underlie increased risk of developing AD in later life. To determine whether TBI causes Aβ aggregation and olig...

Questions

Question (1)
Question
I am attempting western blots on Arabidopsis seedlings (7 to 10d old). We have working anti-bodies and western blot conditions, but we are unable to find any signal. I suspect this protein is not very abundant. In addition, this protein may be rapidly degraded. What protein extraction buffers and conditions would be best for this type of assay?
I typically grind liquid nitrogen frozen tissue and then incubate on ice for 30 minutes in an extraction buffer that contains salt, protease inhibitors, triton, EDTA, and DTT in tris buffer. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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