Georg Jander

Professor
Georg Jander
gj32@cornell.edu
Office/Lab: 127/116
Phone: 607-216-8129
Office/Lab: 127/116
Email: gj32@cornell.edu
Office Phone: 607-254-1365
Lab Phone: 607-216-8129
Affiliations: Adjunct Professor, Section of Plant Biology / School of Integrative Plant Science / Cornell University
Graduate Fields: Plant Biology; Entomology
Research Overview

Introduction

Plants in nature are faced with attack by potentially several hundred thousand species of herbivorous insects. Nevertheless, the world is still green, and any given plant species is resistant to attack by most insects. To a large extent, resistance to herbivory is mediated by a wide array of toxic and deterrent plant metabolites. Between- and within-species variation in the production of defensive chemicals often determines which plants a particular insect species is able to feed from. Some economically important plant toxins, e.g. nicotine in tobacco, have been studied extensively. However, the great majority of the defensive metabolites found in plants remain completely unknown. A typical leaf contains a few thousand different small molecules that can be detected by mass spectrometry, but only a few hundred of these have identified structures. It is likely that many of the as yet completely unknown plant metabolites function in defense against herbivores and/or pathogens.

The Jander lab studies the genetic and biochemical mechanisms that mediate plant interactions with insect herbivores. This includes not only the identification of novel defense-related plant metabolites, but also characterization of the genes and enzymes that are involved in their biosynthesis. Plant species that are currently being investigated include maize, Arabidopsis, and potato. Genetic mapping of natural variation in insect resistance, mass spectrometry-based screens to identify previously unknown plant defensive metabolites and characterization of biosynthetic enzymes through knockout mutations and in vitro enzyme assays have led to the discovery of novel plant defense mechanisms. On the insect side of the interaction, a major research focus is the investigation of strategies that herbivores use to avoid plant defenses or suppress them in a targeted manner.

The long-term goal of research on the chemical ecology of plant-insect interactions is to use the discoveries that are made in the laboratory to increase the natural resistance of crop plants to herbivore attack. Plants that are bred to have enhanced herbivore resistance would require fewer applications of potentially harmful pesticides, thereby providing benefits to the environment and reducing the input costs for farmers.

Examples of current research projects in the Jander lab are:

Maize-insect interactions

Aphids on Maize

Thirteen corn leaf aphids (Rhopalosiphum maidis) and one green peach aphid (Myzus persicae) on the stem of a maize plant.

The Jander lab is collaborating with groups at the University of Bern, the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology and Tel Aviv University to study the biosynthesis and function of benzoxazinoids. These indole-derived metabolites have a prominent role in the herbivore defenses of maize, wheat, rye and other grasses. Recent findings have included the discovery of previously unknown genes involved in maize benzoxazinoid biosynthesis, isolation of mutations that affect defense-induced benzoxazinoid production and evidence that there are defensive trade-offs in the production of different types of benzoxazinoids.

Although other insect herbivores are also being studied, maize-aphid interactions are a particular research emphasis of the Jander lab. Cultivated maize shows wide variation in its resistance to feeding by corn leaf aphids (Rhopalosiphum maidis). Whereas these aphids produce several progeny per day on some maize varieties, others are almost completely resistant to aphid attack. Genetic mapping of aphid progeny production on different maize inbred lines identified specific regions of the maize genome that influence this trait. In some cases, this genetic mapping approach has led to the discovery of specific maize genes and metabolites that provide aphid resistance.

Arabidopsis-aphid interactions

Green Peach Aphid

A fourth-instar green peach aphid (Myzus persicae) on an Arabidopsis leaf.

The green peach aphid (Myzus persicae) is a focus of ongoing research in the Jander lab. As broad generalist herbivores, green peach aphids are exposed to a wide variety of defensive metabolites in the plant species from which they feed. Similar to the corn leaf aphid, the utilization of different host plants by the green peach aphid is often determined by the abundance of specific plant defensive metabolites. Analysis of aphid salivary proteins, which are injected into the plant as the insects are feeding, has demonstrated that some of these proteins are involved in suppressing plant defenses, whereas others are recognized by plants as signals to mount defense responses.

Plant-mediated RNA interference (RNAi), whereby double-stranded RNA targeting insect genes is produced in the plant, has potential applications as an aphid control method. Research conducted in collaboration with Angela Douglas’ lab at Cornell University showed that growth and reproduction of green peach aphids is reduced on Arabidopsis plants transformed with RNAi constructs that limited the expression of aphid osmoregulatory genes. Current research efforts are directed at identifying aphid-specific genes that can be used for RNAi-mediated control of green peach aphids, without affecting the growth and survival of beneficial insect species that might consume these aphids.

Potato metabolic changes induced by tuber moth feeding

When certain potato varieties are subjected to low-level infestation with the Guatemalan tuber moth (Tecia solanivora), there is a two-fold increase in the marketable yield of uninfested tubers on the same plants. Tuber growth changes are associated with increased dry mass of uninfested tubers on infested plants, rather than merely higher water content. Current research, in collaboration with Katja Poveda’s lab at Cornell University is focused on identifying alterations in potato photosynthesis, sugar transport and other aspects of primary metabolism that lead to increased starch deposition in the tubers of potato plants infested with the Guatemalan tuber moth.

Intern Projects

Genetic and biochemical mechanisms of plant defense against insects.


Plants in nature are subject to attack by wide variety of caterpillars, beetles, aphids, and other insect herbivores. Although there are a million or more species of herbivorous insects, any individual plant species is resistant to the vast majority of these. Insect feeding is inhibited by an array of chemical defenses that exhibits great variability both within and among different plant species. However, although it is known that any plant leaf contains several thousand different metabolites, most of these remain unidentified. In the Jander lab we are investigating natural variation in the herbivore resistance of maize, tomato, and potato to elucidate the molecular basis of plant defense traits. Through a combination of genetic crosses, gene expression assays, metabolite profiling, and insect growth experiments, we are able to identify specific plant genes, biosynthetic pathways, and metabolites that are required to mount an effective anti-herbivore defense.

Intern Faculty |  Internship Program | Apply for an Internship
Abscisic acid deficiency increases defence responses against Myzus persicae in Arabidopsis
2016
Author(s):Hillwig, M.S., Chiozza, M., Casteel, C.L., Lau, S.T.,Hohenstein, J., Hernandez, E., Jander, G., MacIntosh, G.C.
Molecular Plant Pathology
10.1111,
mpp.12274
View
Potato tuber herbivory increases resistance to aboveground lepidopteran herbivores
2016
Author(s):Kumar, P., Vargas Ortiz, E., Garrido, E., Poveda, K., and Jander, G.
Oecologia
182(1),
177-87
View
The raison d‰€™etre of chemical ecology
2015
Author(s):Raguso, R. A., Agrawal, A. A., Douglas, A. E., Jander, G., Kessler, A., Poveda, K., Thaler, J. S.
Ecology
10.189
14-1474.1
View
Genetic mapping shows intraspecific variation and transgressive segregation for caterpillar-induced aphid resistance in maize. Molecular Ecology 10.1111/mec.13418
2015
Author(s):Tzin, V., Lindsay, P. L., Christensen, S. A., Meihls, L. N., Blue, L. B., Jander, G.
Molecular Ecology
10.1111/mec.13418
View
Dynamic Maize Responses to Aphid Feeding Are Revealed by a Time Series of Transcriptomic and Metabolomic Assays. Plant Physiology 10.1104/pp.15.01039
2015
Author(s):Tzin, V., Fernandez-Pozo, N., Richter, A., Schmelz, E. A., Schoettner, M., Schafer, M., Ahern, K. R., Meihls, L. N., Kaur, H., Huffaker, A., Mori, N., Degenhardt, J., Mueller, L. A., Jander, G.
Plant Physiology
10.1104,
pp.15.01039
View
Accumulation of 5-hydroxynorvaline in maize (Zea mays) leaves is induced by insect feeding and abiotic stress
2015
Author(s):Yan, J., Lipka, A. E., Schmelz, E. A., Buckler, E. S., Jander, G.
Journal of Experimental Botany
10.1093/jxb/eru385
The raison d’etre of chemical ecology
2015
Author(s):Raguso, R. A., Agrawal, A. A., Douglas, A. E., Jander, G., Kessler, A., Poveda, K., Thaler, J. S.
Ecology
10.1890,
14-1474.1
View
Alteration of Plant Primary Metabolism in Response to Insect Herbivory
2015
Author(s):Zhou S.Q., Lou, Y.R., Tzin, V., Jander, G.
Plant Physiology
10.1104,
pp.15.01405
View
Disrupting Buchnera aphidicola, the endosymbiotic bacteria of Myzus persicae, delays host plant acceptance
2015
Author(s):Machado-Assefh, C. R., Lopez-Isasmendi, G., Tjallingii, W.F., Jander, G., Alvarez, A. E.
Arthropod-Plant Interactions
0.1007/s11829-015-9394-8
View
Maize death acids, 9-lipoxygenase-derived cyclopente(a)nones, display activity as cytotoxic phytoalexins and transcriptional mediators
2015
Author(s):Christensen, S. A., Huffaker, A., Kaplan, F., Sims, J., Ziemann, S., Doehlemann, G., Ji, L. X., Schmitz, R. J., Kolomiets, M. V., Alborn, H. T., Mori, N, Jander, G., Ni, X. Z., Sartor, R. C., Byers, S., Abdo, Z., Schmelz E.A.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
10.1073,
pnas.1511131112
View
Disruption of Ethylene Responses by Turnip mosaic virus Mediates Suppression of Plant Defense against the Green Peach Aphid Vector
2015
Author(s):Casteel C.L., De Alwis, M., Bak, A., Dong, H. L., Witham, S.A., Jander, G.
Plant Physiology 10.1104/pp.15.00332
Plant Physiology 10.1104/pp.15.00332,
Plant Physiology 10.1104/pp.15.00332
View
RNA interference against gut osmoregulatory genes in phloem-feeding insects
2015
Author(s):Tzin, V., Yang, X. V., Jing, X.F., Zhang, K., Jander, G., Douglas, A. E.
Journal of Insect Physiology
10.1016,
j.jinsphys.2015.06.006
View
The glucosinolate breakdown product indole-3-carbinol acts as an auxin antagonist in roots of Arabidopsis thaliana
2015
Author(s):Katz, E., Nisani, S., Yadav, B. S., Woldemariam, M. G., Shai, B., Obolski, U., Ehrlich, M., Shani, E., Jander, G., Chamovitz, B. A.
Plant Journal td>
/tpj.12824,
tpj.12824
View
Stable isotope studies reveal pathways for the incorporation of non-essential amino acids in Acyrthosiphon pisum (pea aphids)
2015
Author(s):Haribal, M., Jander, G.
Journal Of Experimental Biology
10.1242,
jeb.129189
View
Introducing the USA Plant, Algae and Microbial Metabolomics Research Coordination Network (PAMM-NET)
2015
Author(s):Sumner, L.W., Styczynski, M., McLean, J., Fiehn, O., Jander, G., Liao, J., Sumner, S., Britz-McKibbin, P., Welti, R., Jones, A.D., Dorrestein, P.C., Bearden, D., and Kaddurah-Daouk, R.
Metabolomics
11,
3–5
View
Matching the supply of bacterial nutrients to the nutritional demand of the animal host
2014
Author(s):Russell, C.W., Poliakov, A., Haribal, M., Jander, G., van Wijk, K. J., Douglas, A. E.
Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences
10.1098,
rspb.2014.1163
View
Adaptation to Nicotine Feeding in Myzus persicae
2014
Author(s):Ramsey, J. S., Elzinga, D. A., Sarkar, P., Xin, Y. R., Ghanim, M., Jander, G.
J. Chem. Ecol.
40,
869-877
View
The NIa-Pro protein of turnip mosaic virus Improves growth and reproduction of the aphid vector, Myzus persicae (green peach aphid)
2014
Author(s):Casteel, C.L., Yang, C., Nanduri, A.C., De Jong, H.N., Whitham, S.A., and Jander, G.
Plant Journal
10.1111,
tpj.12417
View
Additive effects of two quantitative trait loci that confer Rhopalosiphum maidis (corn leaf aphid) resistance in maize inbred line Mo17
2014
Author(s):Betsiashvili, M., Ahern, K.R., and Jander, G.
J. Exp. Bot.,
66(2),
571-578
View
Revisiting plant-herbivore co-evolution in the molecular biology era
2014
Author(s):Jander, G.
Annual Plant Reviews
47,
361-384
View
Adaptation to nicotine feeding in Myzus persicae. Journal of Chemical Ecology
2014
Author(s):Ramsey, J.S., Elzinga, D.A., Xin, Y.-R., Sarkar, P., and Jander, G.
in press
Suppression of plant defenses by a Myzus persicae (green peach aphid) salivary effector protein
2014
Author(s):Elzinga, D.A., De Vos, M., and Jander, G.
Mol. Plant Microbe In.
27,
747–756
View
The catabolic enzyme methionine gamma-lyase limits methionine accumulation in potato tubers
2014
Author(s):Huang, T., Joshi, V., and Jander, G.
Plant Biotechnology Journal
12(7),
883–893
View
Adaptation to nicotine in the facultative tobacco-feeding hemipteran Bemisia tabaci
2014
Author(s):Kliot, A., Kontsedalov, S., Ramsey, J.S., Jander, G., and Ghanim, M.
Pest Manag. Sci.
70,
1595-1603
View
Natural variation in maize aphid resistance is associated with 2,4-dihydroxy-7-methoxy-1,4-benzoxazin-3-one glucoside methyltransferase activity
2013
Author(s):Meihls, L.N., Handrick, V., Glauser, G., Barbier, H., Kaur, H., Haribal, M.M., Lipka, A.E., Gershenzon, J., Buckler, E.S., Erb, M., Kollner, T.G., and Jander, G.
Plant Cell
25,
2341-2355
View
New synthesis: investigating mutualisms in virus-vector interactions
2013
Author(s):Casteel, C.L., and Jander, G.
Journal of Chemical Ecology
39,
809
View
The role of protein effectors in plant-aphid interactions
2013
Author(s):Elzinga, D.A., and Jander, G.
Curr. Opin. Plant Biol.
16,
451-456
View
Comparative analysis of genome sequences from four strains of the Buchnera aphidicola Mp endosymbion of the green peach aphid, Myzus persicae
2013
Author(s):Jiang, Z.J., Jones, D.H., Khuri, S., Tsinoremas, N.F., Wyss, T., Jander, G., and Wilson, A.C.C.
BMC Genomics
14,
917
View
Near-isogenic lines for measuring phenotypic effects of DIMBOA-Glc methyltransferase activity in maize
2013
Author(s):Mijares, V., Meihls, L., Jander, G., and Tzin, V.
Plant Signaling & Behavior
8,
e26779
View
Transgenerational defense induction and epigenetic inheritance in plants
2012
Author(s):Holeski, L.M., Jander, G., and Agrawal, A.A.
Trends in Ecology & Evolution
27,
618-626
View
meta-Tyrosine in Festuca rubra ssp. commutata (Chewings fescue) is synthesized by hydroxylation of phenylalanine
2012
Author(s):Huang, T., Rehak, L., and Jander, G.
Phytochemistry
75,
60-66
View
Timely plant defenses protect against caterpillar herbivory
2012
Author(s):Jander, G.
P. Natl. Acad. Sci. U S A
109,
4343-4344
View
Natural variation in maize defense against insect herbivores
2012
Author(s):Meihls, L.N., Kaur, H., and Jander, G.
Cold Spring Harb. Symp. Quant. Biol.
77,
269-283
View
Engineering of benzylglucosinolate in tobacco provides proof-of-concept for dead-end trap crops genetically modified to attract Plutella xylostella (diamondback moth)
2012
Author(s):Moldrup, M.E., Geu-Flores, F., de Vos, M., Olsen, C.E., Sun, J., Jander, G., and Halkier, B.A.
Plant Biotechnology Journal
10,
435-442
View
Herbivory in the previous generation primes plants for enhanced insect resistance
2012
Author(s):Rasmann, S., De Vos, M., Casteel, C.L., Tian, D.L., Halitschke, R., Sun, J.Y., Agrawal, A.A., Felton, G.W., and Jander, G.
Plant Physiology
158,
854-863
View
Insecticide resistance mechanisms in the green peach aphid Myzus persicae (Hemiptera: Aphididae) I: a transcriptomic survey
2012
Author(s):Silva, A.X., Jander, G., Samaniego, H., Ramsey, J.S., and Figueroa, C.C.
PLoS ONE
7,
e36366
View
Ecological role of transgenerational resistance against biotic threats
2012
Author(s):Rasmann, S., De Vos, M., and Jander, G.
Plant Signaling & Behavior
7,
447-449
View
New synthesis‰€“plant defense signaling: new opportunities for studying chemical diversity
2011
Author(s):Jander, G., and Clay, N.
J. Chem. Ecol.
37
429
View
Non-protein amino acids in plant defense against insect herbivores: representative cases and opportunities for further functional analysis
2011
Author(s):Huang, T., Jander, G., and de Vos, M.
Phytochemistry
72,
1531-1537
View
New synthesis–plant defense signaling: new opportunities for studying chemical diversity
2011
Author(s):Jander, G., and Clay, N.
J. Chem. Ecol.
37,
429
View
Biosynthesis and defensive function of Ndelta-acetylornithine, a jasmonate-induced Arabidopsis metabolite
2011
Author(s):Adio, A.M., Casteel, C.L., De Vos, M., Kim, J.H., Joshi, V., Li, B., Juery, C., Daron, J., Kliebenstein, D.J., and Jander, G.
Plant Cell
23,
3303-3318
View
Interdependence of threonine, methionine and isoleucine metabolism in plants: accumulation and transcriptional regulation under abiotic stress
2010
Author(s):Joshi, V., Joung, J.G., Fei, Z. and Jander, G.
Amino Acids
39,
933-947
View
Differential effects of indole and aliphatic glucosinolates on lepidopteran herbivores
2010
Author(s):Muller, R., de Vos, M., Sun, J.Y., Sonderby, I.E., Halkier, B.A., Wittstock, U., and Jander, G.
Journal of Chemical Ecology
36,
905-913
View
Antibiosis against the green peach aphid requires the Arabidopsis thaliana MYZUS PERSICAE-INDUCED LIPASE1 gene
2010
Author(s):Louis, J., Lorenc-Kukula, K., Singh, V., Reese, J., Jander, G., and Shah, J.
Plant Journal
64,
800-811
View
Pleiotropic physiological consequences of feedback-insensitive phenylalanine biosynthesis in Arabidopsis thaliana.
2010
Author(s):Huang, T., Tohge, T., Lytovchenko, A., Fernie, A.R., and Jander, G.
Plant J.
63,
823-835
View
Recent progress in deciphering the biosynthesis of aspartate-derived amino acids in plants
2010
Author(s):Jander, G., and Joshi, V.
Mol. Plant
3,
54-65
View
Volatile communication in plant-aphid interactions
2010
Author(s):de Vos, M., and Jander, G.
Curr. Opin. Plant Biol.
13,
366-371
View
Alarm pheromone habituation in Myzus persicae has fitness consequences and causes extensive gene expression changes
2010
Author(s):de Vos, M., Cheng, W.Y., Summers, H.E., Raguso, R.A., and Jander, G.
P. Natl. Acad. Sci. U S A
107,
14673-14678
View
Genomic evidence for complementary purine metabolism in the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum, and its symbiotic bacterium Buchnera aphidicola
2010
Author(s):Ramsey, J.S., MacDonald, S.J., Jander, G., Nakabachi, A., Thomas, G.H., and Douglas, A.E.
Insect Mol. Biol.
19, Suppl 2,
241-248
View
Comparative analysis of detoxification enzymes in Acyrthosiphon pisum and Myzus persicae
2010
Author(s):Ramsey, J.S., Rider, D.S., Walsh, T.K., De Vos, M., Gordon, K.H., Ponnala, L., Macmil, S.L., Roe, B.A., and Jander, G.
Insect Mol. Biol.
19, Suppl 2,
155-164
View
Non-volatile intact indole glucosinolates are host recognition cues for ovipositing Plutella xylostella
2010
Author(s):Sun, J.Y., Sonderby, I.E., Halkier, B.A., Jander, G., and de Vos, M.
J. Chem. Ecol.
35(12),
1427-1436
View
Genome-enabled research on the ecology of plant-insect interactions
2010
Author(s):Whiteman, N.K., and Jander, G.
Plant Physiology
154,
475-478
View
Genomic insight into the amino acid relations of the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum, with its symbiotic bacterium Buchnera aphidicola
2010
Author(s):Wilson, A.C.C., Ashton, P.D., Calevro, F., Charles, H., Colella, S., Febvay, G., Jander, G., Kushlan, P.F., Macdonald, S.J., Schwartz, J.F., Thomas, G.H., and Douglas, A.E.
Insect Mol. Biol.
19,
249-258
View
Glucosinolate metabolites required for an Arabidopsis innate immune response
2009
Author(s):Clay, N.K., Adio, A.M., Denoux, C., Jander, G., and Ausubel, F.M.
Science
323,
95-101
View
Arabidopsis methionine gamma-lyase is regulated according to isoleucine biosynthesis needs but plays a subordinate role to threonine deaminase
2009
Author(s):Joshi, V., and Jander, G.
Physiology
151,
367-378
View
Myzus persicae (green peach aphid) salivary components induce defence responses in Arabidopsis thaliana
2009
Author(s):de Vos, M., and Jander, G.
32,
1548-1560
View
Indole glucosinolate breakdown and its biological effects
2009
Author(s):Agerbirk, N., de Vos, M., Kim, J.H., and Jander, G.
Phytochem. Rev.
8,
101-120
View
Reduced activity of Arabidopsis thaliana HMT2, a methionine biosynthetic enzyme, increases seed methionine content
2008
Author(s):Lee, M.S., Huang, T.F., Toro-Ramos, T., Fraga, M., Last, R.L., and Jander, G.
Plant Journal
54,
310-320
View
Plant immunity to insect herbivores
2008
Author(s):Howe, G.A., and Jander, G.
Annual Review of Plant Biology
59,
41-66
View
Choice and no-choice assays for testing the resistance of A. thaliana to chewing insects.
2008
Author(s):de Vos, M., and Jander, G.
JoVE
15
View
Indole-3-acetonitrile production from indole glucosinolates deters oviposition by Pieris rapae.
2008
Author(s):de Vos, M., Kriksunov, K.L., and Jander, G.
Plant Physiology
146,
916-926
View
Identification of indole glucosinolate breakdown products with antifeedant effects on Myzus persicae (green peach aphid)
2008
Author(s):Kim, J.H., Lee, B.W., Schroeder, F.C. and Jander, G.
Plant J.
54,
1015-1026
View
Genomic resources for Myzus persicae: EST sequencing, SNP identification, and microarray design
2007
Author(s):Ramsey, J.S., Wilson, A.C.C., de Vos, M., Sun, Q., Tamborindeguy, C., Winfield, A., Malloch, G., Smith, D.M., Fenton, B., Gray, S.M., and Jander, G.
BMC Genomics
8,
423
View
Biochemistry and molecular biology of Arabidopsis-aphid interactions
2007
Author(s):de Vos, M., Kim, J.H., and Jander, G.
BioEssay
29,
871-883
View
Tandem gene arrays: a challenge for functional genomics
2007
Author(s):Jander, G., and Barth, C.
Trends in Plant Science
12,
203-210
View
Arabidopsis Myrosinases TGG1 and TGG2 have Redundant Function in Glucosinolate Breakdown and Insect Defense
2006
Author(s):Barth, C., Jander, G.
Plant J.
46,
549-562
View
Gene Identification and Cloning by Molecular Marker Mapping
2006
Author(s):Jander, G.
Methods in Molecular Biology
323,
115-126
View
Prevention and control of pests and diseases
2006
Author(s):Bush, J., Jander, G., Ausubel, F.M.
Methods Mol. Biol.
323,
13-25
View
The TASTY locus on chromosome 1 of Arabidopsis affects feeding of the insect herbivore Trichoplusia ni
2001
Author(s):Jander, G., Cui, J., Nhan, B., Pierce, N.E., and Ausubel F.M.
Plant Physiology
126,
890-898
View
Methods of screening compounds useful for prevention of infection or pathogenicity
Georg Jander
Technology Area:Enabling Technology
US Patent/Application(s): 7,166,270

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