Maria Harrison

William H. Crocker Professor
Maria Harrison
mjh78@cornell.edu
Office/Lab: 405/406
Phone: 607-254-6472
Office/Lab: 405/ 402, 404, 406, 410
Email: mjh78@cornell.edu
Office Phone: 607-254-6472
Lab Phone: 607-254-6424
Affiliations: Adjunct Professor / Section of Plant Pathology & Plant-Microbe Biology / School of Integrative Plant Science / Cornell University
Graduate Fields: Plant Pathology & Plant-Microbe Biology; Plant Biology
Research Areas:    Biotic Interactions / Stress Responses
Research Overview

Most vascular flowering plants are able to form symbiotic associations with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. These associations, named ‘arbuscular mycorrhizas’, develop in the roots, where the fungus colonizes the cortex to access carbon supplied by the plant. The fungal contribution to the symbiosis includes the transfer of mineral nutrients, particularly phosphorus, from the soil to the plant. In many soils, phosphate exists at levels that are limiting for plant growth. Consequently, additional phosphate supplied via AM fungi can have a significant impact on plant development, and this symbiosis influences the structure of plant communities in ecosystems worldwide.

The long-term goals of our research are to understand the mechanisms underlying development of the AM symbiosis and phosphate transfer between the symbionts. A model legume, Medicago truncatula, and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, Glomus versiforme, Glomus intraradices and Gigaspora gigantea are used for these analyses. Currently, a combination of molecular, cell biology, genetic and genomics approaches are being used to obtain insights into development of the symbiosis, communication between the plant and fungal symbionts, and symbiotic phosphate transport.

Intern Projects
Molecular analyses of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis

Phosphorus is a critical macronutrient for proper plant growth. While phosphorus deficiencies can be improved by the application of phosphate fertilizers, it is costly, both to the farmer and to the environment. Furthermore, the crops only take up a small percentage of the applied fertilizer; the remainder is either immobilized in the soil, or carried into ground water and rivers, often resulting in pollution.

Interns in the  Harrison lab investigate two aspects of plant phosphorus nutrition. The first aspect seeks to understand the basis for the symbiotic relationships between vascular flowering plants and arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. The fungi colonize root cells, gaining access to carbon supplied by the plant, while at the same time mobilizing mineral nutrients from the soil, including phosphorus, to be used by the plant. For this work, the lab uses the model legume, Medicago truncatula and the fungus Glomus versiforme. The Harrison lab also studies how plants find and take up phosphorus from the soil when they do not have these symbiotic relationships with fungi. This work toward understanding the mechanisms of perception and acquisition of phosphorus by plants may eventually lead to a more effective usage of fertilizers.

Internship Program | Projects & FacultyApply for an Internship
RiArsB and RiMT-11 : Two novel genes induced by arsenate in arbuscular mycorrhiza
2017.
Maldonado-Mendoza, I. E., Harrison, Maria J.
Fungal Biology.
122
:
121–130
A comprehensive draft genome sequence for lupin ( Lupinus angustifolius ), an emerging health food: insights into plant-microbe interactions and legume evolution
2017.
Hane, J. K., Ming, Y., Kamphuis, L. G., Nelson, M. N., Garg, G., Atkins, C. A., Bayer, P. E., Bravo,…
Plant Biotechnology Journal.
15
:
318–330
A Transcriptional Program for Arbuscule Degeneration during AM Symbiosis Is Regulated by MYB1
2017.
Floss, D. S., Gomez, S. K., Park, H. J., MacLean, A. M., Müller, L. M., Bhattarai, K. K., Lévesque…
Current Biology.
27
:
1206–1212
Exocytosis for endosymbiosis: membrane trafficking pathways for development of symbiotic membrane compartments
2017.
Harrison, Maria J., Ivanov, S.
Current Opinion in Plant Biology.
38
:
101–108
Arbuscular mycorrhiza-specific enzymes FatM and RAM2 fine-tune lipid biosynthesis to promote development of arbuscular mycorrhiza
2017.
Bravo, A., Brands, M., Wewer, V., Dörmann, P., Harrison, Maria J.
New Phytologist.
214
:
1631–1645
Plant Signaling and Metabolic Pathways Enabling Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Symbiosis
2017.
MacLean, A. M., Bravo, A., Harrison, Maria J.
The Plant Cell.
29
:
2319–2335
A CCaMK-CYCLOPS-DELLA Complex Activates Transcription of RAM1 to Regulate Arbuscule Branching
2016.
Pimprikar, P., Carbonnel, S., Paries, M., Katzer, K., Klingl, V., Bohmer, M. J., Karl, L., Floss, D.…
Current Biology.
26
:
987–998
DELLA proteins regulate expression of a subset of AM symbiosis-induced genes in Medicago truncatula
2016.
Floss, D. S., Lévesque-Tremblay, V., Park, H. J., Harrison, Maria J.
Plant Signaling and Behavior.
11
:
e1162369–e1162369
Genes conserved for arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis identified through phylogenomics
2016.
Bravo, A., York, T., Pumplin, N., Mueller, Lukas A., Harrison, Maria J.
Nature Plants.
2
:
15208–15208
How grow-and-switch gravitropism generates root coiling and root waving growth responses in Medicago truncatula
2015.
Tan, T. H., Silverberg, J. L., Floss, D. S., Harrison, Maria J., Henley, C. L., Cohen, I.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
112
:
12938–12943
Hyphal Branching during Arbuscule Development Requires Reduced Arbuscular Mycorrhiza1
2015.
Park, H. J., Floss, D. S., Levesque-Tremblay, V., Bravo, A., Harrison, Maria J.
Plant Physiology.
169
:
2774–2788
EXO70I Is Required for Development of a Sub-domain of the Periarbuscular Membrane during Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Symbiosis
2015.
Zhang, X., Pumplin, N., Ivanov, S., Harrison, Maria J.
Current Biology.
25
:
2189–2195
Suppression of Arbuscule Degeneration in Medicago truncatula phosphate transporter4 Mutants Is Dependent on the Ammonium Transporter 2 Family Protein AMT2;3
2015.
Breuillin-Sessoms, F., Floss, D. S., Karen Gomez, S., Pumplin, N., Ding, Y., Levesque-Tremblay, V., …
The Plant Cell.
27
:
1352–1366
Signaling events during initiation of arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis
2014.
Schmitz, A. M., Harrison, Maria J.
Journal of Integrative Plant Biology.
56
:
250–261
A set of fluorescent protein-based markers expressed from constitutive and arbuscular mycorrhiza-inducible promoters to label organelles, membranes and cytoskeletal elements in Medicago truncatula
2014.
Ivanov, S., Harrison, Maria J.
The Plant Journal.
80
:
1151–1163
The NR4A2 Nuclear Receptor Is Recruited to Novel Nuclear Foci in Response to UV Irradiation and Participates in Nucleotide Excision Repair
2013.
Jagirdar, K., Yin, K., Harrison, Maria J., Lim, W., Muscat, G. EO, Sturm, R. A., Smith, A. G.
PLOS One.
8
:
e78075–e78075
Using membrane transporters to improve crops for sustainable food production
2013.
Schroeder, J. I., Delhaize, E., Frommer, W. B., Guerinot, M. L., Harrison, Maria J., Herrera-Estrell…
Nature.
497
:
60–66
Gene Silencing in Medicago truncatula roots using RNAi
2013.
Floss, D. S., Schmitz, A. M., Starker, C. G., Stephen Gantt, J., Harrison, Maria J.
The Nucleus (Methods in Molecular Biology).
1069
:
163–177
DELLA proteins regulate arbuscule formation in arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis
2013.
Floss, D. S., Levy, J. G., Lévesque-Tremblay, V., Pumplin, N., Harrison, Maria J.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
110
:
E5025–E5034
Spatio-Temporal Expression Patterns of Arabidopsis thaliana and Medicago truncatula Defensin-Like Genes
2013.
Tesfaye, M., Silverstein, K. AT, Nallu, S., Wang, L., Botanga, C. J., Gomez, S. K., Costa, L. M., Ha…
PLOS One.
8
:
e58992–e58992
Root-specific phosphate transporter promoters
Maria Harrison
Technology Area:Enabling Technology - Gene Expression
US Patent/Application(s): 12/257,276
Publication: Plant Bio 2006
MtHP promoter element
Maria Harrison
Technology Area:Enabling Technology - Gene Expression
US Patent/Application(s): 7,056,743
Publication: Mol Breed 2005
Plant phytase genes and methods of use
Maria Harrison
Technology Area:Yield Inputs
US Patent/Application(s): 7,557,265
Publication: Planta 2005
Plants with increased phosphorous uptake
Maria Harrison
Technology Area:Yield Inputs
US Patent/Application(s): 7,417,181

Contact:

Boyce Thompson Institute
533 Tower Rd.
Ithaca, NY 14853
607.254.1234
contact@btiscience.org