Pei-Lan Tsou, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Cell and Molecular Biology Department

243 Padnos Hall

Phone: 616-331-2470 / 616-331-2488

Email: tsoup@gvsu.edu

Office Hour Fall 2014: 

T: 1-2pm, Th: 11-12am

 

Education:

B.S. (Agronomy) National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan

Ph.D. (Plant Physiology, minor in Biotechnology) North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC

Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Berkeley/ USDA, Plant Gene Expression Center

 

Courses Taught:

BIO 120 (Introductory Biology)

BIO 405 (Cell and Molecular Biology)

BIO 406 (Cell and Molecular Biology Laboratory)

BIO 426 (Nucleic Acid Laboratory)

CMB 150 (Biotechnology and Society Laboratory)

CMB 250 (Intro to Biotechnology)

CMB 697 (Colloquium in Biotechnology)

CMB 680 (Lab Techniques in CMB)

CMB 680 (Scientific Communication)

 

Research Interests:

Identification of the Late Embryogenesis Abundant Proteins Gene Family in the Orchidaceae

Orchidaceae represents one of the largest and oldest families of flowering plants. Wild orchids are becoming increasingly endangered in the face of anthropogenic disturbances and climate change. One proposed solution to the  loss of species in higher plants is seed banking. To facile long-term seed storage requires that seeds be dry. The seeds of most species acquire the ability to tolerate extreme drying (“desiccation”) near the end of development in the program termed “maturation-drying”. Unfortunately for orchids, such banking will not be successful until their complex seed biology is understood.

Maturation drying entails many biochemical and biophysical changes, one of which is the accumulation of a group of proteins (the late embryogenesis abundant, or LEA, proteins). Some of these have been shown to be necessary (but not sufficient) for the development of desiccation tolerance. There are seven distinct groups of LEA proteins. The members all but one of these groups (Group 5) are extremely hydrophilic (“water-loving”). Our physiological research to date suggests that orchid seeds, like those of agricultural species undergo maturation drying late in development. The aim of this work is to use molecular evidence (the upregulation of LEA genes) to confirm that orchid seeds undergo maturation drying.

Using the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe as a model to identify genes that confer abiotic stress tolerance

Heavy metals are persistent environmental pollutants. Before the plants can be used as clean-up crop through phytoremediation, they have to withstand the stressful and harsh environment. As metal stress is related to other abiotic stresses, many of these genes involve in heavy metal resistance also confer tolerance to, for example, oxidative stress. My research is focus on studying genes involved in the stress response in plants. Toward that goal, I had considered several approaches such as surveying the genes or proteins that respond to the oxidative stress challenge and the knowledge gained from single cell organisms (fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe) will likely translate to important crop plants. This led to the identification of a number of cDNAs capable of enhancing metal tolerance. Since then, we have found homologous genes in a large number of eukaryotes. Many of their function are unknown and I continue to investigate their effects in the cellular and whole plant level to study their function and their interaction with known pathways.

Sorting out multiple putative orthologs of the Arabidopsis gene SLEEPY-1 in soybean 

Bioactive gibberillic acid (GA) signaling is critical for multiple developmental processes throughout the life cycle of several plants.  The F-Box protein Sleepy 1 (SLY1) has been characterized in Arabidopsis as a positive regulator of GA signaling.  It is believed that the SLY1 gene is up regulated in response to an increase in bioactive GA and functions to degrade inhibitors of GA signaling. Two putative soybean SLY1 orthologs have identified by screening a cDNA library and bioinformatic methods.  While both putative orthologs contain an F-Box motif as well as several other domains common to the Arabidopsis SLY1 protein, it has not been determined whether these orthologs fulfill the same function as SLY1.  We are investigating the role of these two homologs in soybean seedlings in order to understand the role of SLY1 in soybean.

Patent Invention Disclosure

Wyatt, S. E., Tsou, P.-L., and Robertson, D. (2000) A peptide sequence for increasing biologically active calcium in plants. (NCSU Invention Disclosure File No. 00-57, International patent application number PCT/US01/13563, US patent application number 60/200233) 

Journal Publications

Tsou P.-L., Lee, S. Y., Allen, N. S., Winter-Sederoff, H., and Robertson, D. (2012), An ER-targeted calcium-binding peptide confers salt and drought tolerance mediated by CIPK6 in Arabidopsis, Planta 235 (3):539-552 

Persson, S., Love, J., Tsou, P.-L., Robertson, D., Thompson, W. F., Boss, W. F. (2002) When a day makes a difference: Interpreting data from endoplasmic reticulum-targeted green fluorescent protein fusion in cells grown in suspension culture. Plant Physiology 128 (2): 341-344

*Wyatt, S. E., *Tsou, P.-L., Robertson, D. (2002) Expression of the high capacity calcium-binding domain of calreticulin increases bioavailable calcium stores in plants. Transgenic Research  11: 1-10 *Authors contributed equally

Scott, A. Wyatt, S. E., Tsou, P.-L., Robertson, D. and Allen, N.S. (1999) A model system for plant cell biology: GFP imaging in living onion epidermal cells.  BioTechniques 26: 1127-1132 (cover) 

Popular Article

Tsou, P.-L., (2000) “Female Professors”  Taiwan Women, Taiwan Women's Boundary-crossing, pp 232-239

Abstracts and Presentations

Godfrey, T., Blackman, S. and Tsou, P.-L. “Identification of the Late Embryogenesis Abundant Proteins Gene Family in the Orchidaceae”, American Society of Plant Biologists, Austin, TX, July 19-24, 2012

Dietrich, M. A, Tsou, P.-L and Hart, D.C “Using inquiry-based molecular biology to teach critical thinking”, American Society of Plant Biologists, Austin, TX, July 19-24, 2012

Godfrey, T., Blackman, S. and Tsou, P.-L. “Identification of the Late Embryogenesis Abundant Proteins Gene Family in the Orchidaceae” Michigan Academy of Science, arts, & letters Annual Meeting, Alma College, Alma, MI, March 2, 2012 

Godfrey, T., Blackman, S. and Tsou, P.-L. “Identification of the Late Embryogenesis Abundant Proteins Gene Family in the Orchidaceae”, West Michigan Regional Undergraduate Science Research Conference, Grand Rapids, MI, Nov 12, 2011

Boeve, C, Janssens, D. and Tsou, P.-L. “Sorting out multiple soybean orthologs of SLEEPY-1”, American Society of Plant Biologists, Montreal, Canada, July 31- Aug 4, 2010

Janssens, D. and Tsou, P.-L. “Is soybean more “SLEEPY” than Arabidopsis: Sorting out the multiple putative orthologues of SLY-1 gene”, American Society of Plant Biologists, Honolulu, HI, July 18-22, 2009

Lee, Sang Yoon; Tsou, P.-L.; Bradford, J.; Qu, R.; Allen, N. S.; Johannes, E.; Winter-Sederoff, Heike A.; Robertson, D. “Increased ER calcium confers better stress tolerance through enhanced CIPK6 expression in Arabidopsis”, American Society of Plant Biologists, Honolulu, HI, July 18-22, 2009

Zhaorong Wei, Gangqiang Li, Pei-Lan Tsou, Dehu Liu, Yueju Wang, Optimizing the expression of Eisemia fetida lumbrokinases in alfalfa (Medicago sativa) plant, Society of in vitro Biology, Charleston, SC, June 6-10, 2009

Janssens, D. and Tsou, P.-L. “Is soybean more “SLEEPY” than Arabidopsis: Sorting out the multiple putative orthologues of SLY-1 gene”, Michigan Academy of Science, arts, & letters Annual Meeting, Wayne State University, Detroit, March 20, 2009

“Is soybean more “SLEEPY” than Arabidopsis: Sorting out the multiple putative orthologues of SLY-1 gene”, Michigan Academy of Science, arts, & letters Annual Meeting, Wayne State University, Detroit, March 20, Barbaglia, A. and Tsou, P.-L. “Characterization of the role of OXS1, a nucleocytoplasmic protein in oxidative stress tolerance using yeast-two-hybrid system”, Michigan Academy of Science, arts, & letters Annual Meeting, Wayne State University, Detroit, March 20, 2009

Barbaglia, A. and Tsou, P.-L. “Characterization of the role of OXS1, a nucleocytoplasmic protein in oxidative stress tolerance using yeast-two-hybrid system.” West Michigan Regional Undergraduate Science Research Conference, Grand Rapids, MI, Nov 1, 2008

Meagan Treadway, “The Influence of APOE on Blood Lipid Levels in Middle School Children”, Best thesis award, Honors program thesis (HNR499), Winter, 2008

Treadway, M. N., Coe, D. P. and Tsou, P.-L. ”The Influence of ApoE Genotype on Blood Lipid Levels in Middle School Children”, Michigan Academy of Science, arts, & letters Annual Meeting, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, March 7, 2008

Treadway, M. N., Coe, D. P. and Tsou, P.-L.  ”The Influence of ApoE Genotype on Blood Lipid Levels in Middle School Children”, West Michigan Regional Undergraduate Science Research Conference, Grand Rapids, MI, Oct 20, 2007

Geister, K. A., Coe, D. P. and Tsou, P.-L. “The Influence of eNOS Polymorphisms on the Cardiovascular Fitness of West Michigan Children”, West Michigan Regional Undergraduate Science Research Conference, Grand Rapids, MI, Oct 20, 2007

Tsou, P.-L., Song, Wen, Ow, David W. “OXS1, a conserved eukaryotic HMG-box protein that confers resistance to oxidative stress tolerance”, Annual Meeting of American Society of Plant Biologists/ Botanical Society of America Joint Congress, Chicago, IL, July 6-11, 2007

Coe, D. P., Pivarnik, J.M., Tsou, P.-L., Womack, C.J., and K.A. Egan. “Influence of certain genotypes on cardiovascular disease risk factors in middle school children.” American College of Sports Medicine 54th Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, May 30-June 2, 2007

Coe, D. P., Pivarnik, J.M., Tsou, P-L., Womack, C.J., and K.A. Egan. “Influence of certain genotypes on cardiovascular disease risk factors in middle school children.” Med Sci Sports Exerc. Submitted October 2006 

Page last modified September 16, 2014