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Michael V Mickelbart

Horticulture and Landscape Architecture 

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

Botany and Plant Pathology 

  • Associate Professor
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., Hasegawa, P., & Bailey-Serres, J. (2015). Genetic mechanisms of abiotic stress tolerance that translate to crop yield stability. Nature Reviews Genetics, 16, 237-251. Retrieved from http://www.nature.com/nrg/journal/v16/n4/abs/nrg3901.html

Yin, J., Gribscov, M., Thimapurram, J., Dilkes, B., & Mickelbart, M. (2015). Transcriptomic differences between two Eutrema salsugineum accessions and quantitative trait loci identified from bulk segregant analysis of an F2 population. Plant and Animal Genome Xxiii. Retrieved from https://pag.confex.com/pag/xxiii/webprogram/Paper17854.html

Yin, J., Gribscov, M., Dilkes, B., Thimmapuram, J., & Mickelbart, M. (2014). Candidate genes associated with water use efficiency (WUE) identified from quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping in Eutrema salsugineum. ASPB Midwest Section Meeting 2014.

Anwar, R., Ragathama, A., Jairam, P., Fatima, S., Gosney, M., Mickelbart, M., & Handa, A. (2014). Characterization of drought response of transgenic tomato plants expressing spermidine synthase under constitutive or fruit-specific promoters. ASHS Annual Meeting 2015. Retrieved from https://ashs.confex.com/ashs/2014/webprogram/Paper19594.html

Schaffer, B., Gil, P., Mickelbart, M., & Whiley, A. (2014). Ecophysiology. In The Avocado: Botany Production and Uses, 2nd Edition (2nd Ed., 168-199). Wallingford, UK: CAB International Press.

Bumgarner, M., Salifu, K., Mickelbart, M., & Jacobs, D. (in press). Effects of fertility applied through sub-irrigation on media characteristics and red oak seedling morphology and physiology. HortScience.

Mickelbart, M., Gosney, M., & Stanton, K. (2014). Evaluation of accessions of Spiraea alba and S. tomentosa in Indiana. Native Plants Journal, 14, 17äóñ23.

Smith, C., Wang, L., & Mickelbart, M. (2014). Identifying candidate genes that affect epidermal development. Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Symposium. Retrieved from http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/surf/2014/presentations/1/

Brown, C., Mickelbart, M., & Jacobs, D. (2014). Leaf physiology and biomass allocation of American chestnut (Castanea dentata) seedlings in response to light and water availability. Tree Physiology, 34, 1362-1375.

Baxter, I., Zeigler, G., Lahner, B., Mickelbart, M., 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

Horticulture & Landscape Architecture, 625 Agriculture Mall Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2010 USA, (765) 494-1300

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