Pei-Lan Tsou, Ph.D.

tsou

Associate Professor of CMB
3365 KHS
Phone: (616) 331-2488
Email: tsoup@gvsu.edu

Office Hour Fall 2019: T 12-1 p.m., Th 11-12

 

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, Berkeley, CA

Courses Taught:

BIO 120 (Introductory Biology)

CMB 405 (Cell and Molecular Biology)

CMB 406 (Cell and Molecular Biology Laboratory)

CMB 426 (Nucleic Acid Laboratory)

CMB 150 (Biotechnology and Society Laboratory)

CMB 250 (Intro to Biotechnology)

CMB 626 (Advanced Technique in Nucleic Acid Lab)

CMB 697 (Colloquium in Biotechnology)

CMB 680 (Lab Techniques in CMB)

CMB 501 (Scientific Communication)

Research Interests:

Detection of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater via Digital Droplet PCR

The SARS-CoV-2 virus was first detected in China in 2019 and spread across the world to cause the global pandemic known as COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2 is an RNA enveloped virus belonging to the Coronaviridae family. SARS-CoV-2 can be detected in wastewater. The MDEGLE SARS-CoV-2 wastewater surveillance pilot project organized multiple institutions across Michigan, from colleges to health departments, to more rapidly detect the circulation of the SARS-CoV-2 virus within specific communities. Wastewater samples were collected from different locations, like the waste water treatment plants, college dormitories, nursing homes and low income housings. The virus was first concentrated by precipitation with PEG and NaCl. The RNA was then extracted from the resuspended viral pellet using a QIAGEN Kit. Viral RNA was detected using digital droplet quantitative PCR, or ddPCR using primers and probes generated from viral RNA. These results will be reported to KCHD and MDHHS. We are also using qPCR to detect variants of concerns in the waste water. Future directions could include adapting this protocol for early detection of other viruses and infectious diseases.

Rapid Methods and Molecular Source Tracking for Recreational Water

Michigan is known for our lakes. Our lab is involved with research projects aimed at monitoring and improving the water quality of Michigan recreational water. In conjunction with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, the US Environmental Protection Agency, we are working on the development of a new, standardized qPCR criteria for E. coli concentrations in beach water samples to quickly and accurately detect fecal pollution in recreational waters and can serve as a point of reference for the scientific community, as well as other governmental agencies interested in improving water monitoring criteria. E. coli concentrations determined in this way can be linked to existing BeachGuard data and will be made available for public access.

In addition to E. coli monitoring, we are also emphasizing on using genetic techniques to determining sources of fecal pollution in watersheds. Microbial source tracking, or MST, is a DNA-based technology that enables the water-quality management community to determine whether humans or other animal species are responsible for microbial fecal contamination in an aquatic environment. MST can detect and quantify fecal pollution originating from several sources including: human, bovine, porcine, avian, dog, etc. We are currently working with the US EPA to apply this method at beaches across the State of Michigan. Our lab uses this method to gain insights into the degree of health risk posed by fecal contamination at a given site.

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.

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

Sara Sumerix, Laura Shattuck, Sheila Blackman, Pei-Lan Tsou, Puneet Chowdary, Phi6 as a Process Control in Wastewater Monitoring for SARS-CoV-2, GVSU PSM Internship Showcase, Nov 19, 2021

Garrett O’Dea, Austin M. Schian, Sheila Blackman, Puneet Chowdary, Pei-Lan Tsou, From Fever to Feces: Tracking the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic with Wastewater-Based Epidemiology, West Michigan Regional Undergraduate Science Research Conference Nov 12-13, 2021

Liz Francis, Garrett O’Dea, Sheila Blackman, Pei-Lan Tsou, Monitoring Millennium Park Beach for E. coli and Coliform Using qPCR and Colilert-2000 Methods, West Michigan Regional Undergraduate Science Research Conference Nov 12-13, 2021

Jack Ruhala, Pei-Lan Tsou, Puneet Chowdhary, Sheila Blackman, Hot Stuff: Developing a PMMoV Assay to Normalize the Fecal Content In Wastewater to Improve Consistency of SARS CoV-2 Data, West Michigan Regional Undergraduate Science Research Conference Nov 12-13, 2021

Tsou, P.-L., Detection of SARS-CoV-2 via Digital Droplet PCR in Wastewater, GVSU CLAS Faculty Research Colloquium, Sept, 17, 2021

Rahman, S., Schian, A. (Presenters & Authors), Siddiqui, F. ,Pokhrel, N. , Babu, A. , Goralski, T., Lane, M., Rediske, R., Tsou, P.-L. , & Blackman, S., Wastewater Detection of SARS-CoV2 Outbreaks via digital droplet PCR on Campus Dormitories, Michigan Academy of Science, arts, & letters Annual Meeting, March 12, 2021

Rahman, S.,Babu, A., Pingle, G., Wastewater Detection of SARS-CoV-2 Outbreaks via Digital Droplet PCR in Campus Dormitories, GVSU Graduate Showcase, 2021

Henson, S., Janssens, D., Tsou, P.-L., Plant Biology 2019, American Society of Plant Biologists, San Jose, CA, "Examine the Gene Expression and Functions of Two SLEEPY–1 Homologs in Soybean", Academic, published in proceedings, August 3, 2019.

Henson, S., Janssens, D., Tsou, P.-L., Michigan Academy of Science, arts, & letters Annual Meeting, Michigan Academy of Science, arts, & letters, Alma College, Alma, MI, Examine the gene expression and functions of two SLEEPY–1 homologs in soybean., Academic, published in proceedings, March 1, 2019.

Henson, S. (Presenter & Author), Tsou, P.-L. (Author Only), Student Scholarship Day, Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship, Allendale, MI, "Is Soybean More "SLEEPY" than Arabidopsis? : Examining the Expression of Two SLY1 Orthologues in Soybean", published in proceedings, April 11, 2018.

Henson, S., Tsou, P.-L., The Third Annual Cell & Molecular Biology Research Symposium, GVSU CMB department, GVSU, Allendale, MI, "Is Soybean more “SLEEPY” than Arabidopsis? : Sorting out multiple putative orthologues of the SLY-1 gene", published in proceedings, March 23, 2018.

Henson, S., Janssens, D., Tsou, P.-L., Michigan Academy of Science, arts, & letters Annual Meeting, Michigan Academy of Science, arts, & letters, Central Michigan University, Mt Pleasant, MI, Sorting Out Multiple Soybean Orthologs Of SLEEPY-1, published in proceedings, March 9, 2018.

Henson, S. , Tsou, P.-L., West Michigan Regional Undergraduate Science Research Conference, Grand Rapids, MI, Sorting Out Multiple Soybean Orthologs Of SLEEPY-1, November 4, 2017

Blackman, S., Tsou, P.-L., Plant Biology 2017, American Society of Plant Biologists, Honolulu, HI, "Late Embryogenesis Abundant Proteins Gene Expression During Seed Development in the Orchidaceae Phalaenopsis", June 24, 2017

Chang, S.-C., Blackman, S., Tsou, P.-L., Plant Biology 2014, "Identification and Characterization of Late Embryogenesis Abundant Protein Genes in the Orchidaceae," American Society of Plant Biologists, Portland, OR, July 12, 2014

Tsou, P.-L., "Critical Thinking Skills - Development and Application in Science," Taiwanese Agricultural Research Institute Council of Agriculture,Executive Yuan, Taichung, Taiwan, January 31, 2013

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 December 6, 2021