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Michael V Mickelbart

Botany and Plant Pathology 

  • Associate Professor of Botany & Horticulture
WSLR Room B024
170 S. University St.
West Lafayette, IN 47907

Area of Expertise: Plant Physiology


Courses currently taught:


HORT 30100, Plant Physiology


Our lab is focused on both applied and basic aspects of plant water and nutrient physiology and management.


Plant water use and stress physiology

Our group uses a number of model species to identify the genetic basis for improved water use efficiency (WUE) in plants (Yoo et al., 2009). Recent work (Yoo et al., 2010) provides exciting evidence for the role of stomatal development on WUE and water stress tolerance in plants. Ongoing projects in the lab are focused on the identification and characterization of flowering time transcription factors that may also regulate WUE, identification of WUE genes in the model species Thellungiella halophila, the identification of QTL associated with WUE in maize, and the effect of transpiration rate on nutrient uptake in plants.


Plant nutrition

Our work on plant nutrition is undertaken to provide science-based recommendations to growers in Indiana and throughout the U.S. Published research has resulted in refined protocols for tissue (HortSci, 2010) and container (HortTech, 2009) nutrient sampling, and ongoing research has provided the basis for reducing container production fertilizer rates. Currently, we are also utilizing stable isotopes to track nitrogen fates in container plants.

Awards & Honors

(2015) Benjamin Meeker Visiting Professor. University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.

(2012) Fulbright Visiting Scientist Fellowship. Universidad ICESI, Cali, Colombia.

(2011) Borlaug Fellowship Visiting Scientist. National Research Center on Plant Biotechnology, New Delhi, India.

Selected Publications

Mickelbart, M. V., Hasegawa, P. M., & Salt, D. E. (2010). Plant Stress Responses and Adaptations to the Abiotic Environment. In Plant Physiology (Vol. 5th). Sunderland, Massechusetts: Sinauer Associates, Inc..

Schaffer, B., Gil, P. M., Mickelbart, M. V., & Whiley, A. (2013). Ecophysiology. In The Avocado: Botany Production and Uses (Vol. 2nd, pp. 168-199).

Mickelbart, M. V., Hasegawa, P. M., & Bailey-Serres, J. (2015). Genetic mechanisms of abiotic stress tolerance that translate to crop yield stability. Nature Reviews Genetics, 16, 237-251. Retrieved from

Baxter, I., Zeigler, G., Lahner, B., Mickelbart, M. V., Foley, R., Danku, J., . . . Hoekenga, O. (2014). Single kernel ionomic profiles are highly heritable indicators of genetic and environmental influences on elemental uptake in maize (Zea mays). PLoS One, 9, 9(1): e87628. Retrieved from http://doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0087628

Weng, H., Yoo, C. Y., Gosney, M. J., Hasegawa, P. M., & Mickelbart, M. V. (2012). Poplar GTL1 is a Ca2+/calmodulin-binding transcription factor that functions in plant water use efficiency and drought tolerance. PLoS One, 7, e32925.

Yoo, C. Y., Pence, H. E., Jin, J. B., Miura, K., Gosney, M. J., Hasegawa, P. M., & Mickelbart, M. V. (2010). The Arabidopsis GTL1 transcription factor regulates water use efficiency and drought tolerance.. The Plant Cell, 22, 4128-4141.

Orsini, F., D'Urzo, M. P., Inan, G., Serra, S., Oh, D. H., Mickelbart, M. V., . . . Maggio, A. (2010). A comparative study of salt tlerance parameters in eleven wild relatives of Arabidopsis thaliana.. Journal of Experimental Botany, 61, 3787-3798.

Yoo, C. Y., Pence, H. E., Hasegawa, P. M., & Mickelbart, M. V. (2009). Regulation of transpiration to improve crop water use. Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences, 28, 410-431.

Baxter, I. R., Hosmani, P. S., Rus, A., Lahner, B., Borevitz, J., Muthukumar, B., . . . Salt, D. E. (2009). Root suberin regulates water relations and mineral nutrition in Arabidopsis. PLoS Genetics, 5(5). Retrieved from