Jonathan Fitz Gerald

Dr. Fitz Gerald's CV

Fitz Gerald Lab


Plant Biology, Development

One of the agriculturally significant aspects of plant growth is seed size. This is largely determined by the development of the seed endosperm. Dr. Fitz Gerald′s work focuses on the Arabidopsis gene AtFH5, a formin involved in the development of the posterior endosperm. Using a combination of molecular biology, genetics and microscopy, his aim is to understand both the role of AtFH5 in endosperm development and the pathways that regulate AtFH5 expression. Interestingly, after fertilization AtFH5 is expressed only from the maternal genome. Paternal silencing is regulated by a homologue of the animal Polycomb group complex. In animals, Polycomb complexes maintain cell identity during development. In Arabidopsis, is Polycomb maintaining male and female identity of the parental genomes? Ongoing projects include the examination of mutant plants where AtFH5 expression is altered and molecular screening for AtFH5 interacting proteins.

Selected Publications: († denotes undergraduate authors)

A.G. Gardner, J.N. Fitz Gerald, J. Menz†, K.A. Shepard, D.G. Howarth and R.S. Jabaily, “Characterizing floral symmetry in the core Goodeniaceae with geometric morphometrics.” PLoS One. 11(5): e0154736 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0154736 (2016)

J.N. Fitz Gerald, A.L. Carlson, E. Smith, J. Maloof, D. Weigel, J. Chory, J.O. Borevitz and R.J. Swanson, “New Arabidopsis advanced intercross recombinant inbred lines (Van-0 X Col-0) reveal female control of nonrandom mating.” Plant Physiol. 165(1): 175-185 (2014)

A.W. Truman, A.A. Kitazono, J.N. Fitz Gerald and S.J. Kron, “Cell Cycle: Regulation by Cyclins.” In: Encyclopedia of Life Sciences, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd: Chichester (2012)

A.L. Carlson, J.N. Fitz Gerald, M. Telligman†, M. Roshanmanesh and R.J. Swanson, “Defining the genetic architecture underlying female- and male-mediated nonrandom mating and seed yield traits in Arabidopsis.” Plant Physiol. 157(4):1956-64. (2011)

J.N. Fitz Gerald, S.H. Poh† and F. Berger, “Polycomb group dependent imprinting of the actin regulator AtFH5 in Arabidopsis thaliana regulates morphogenesis.” Development, 136 (20):3399-3404 (2009)

J.N. Fitz Gerald, M. Luo, A. Chaudhury and F. Berger, “DNA methylation causes predominant maternal controls of plant embryo growth.” PLoS ONE 3(5):e2298. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0002298 (2008)

F. Berger, J.N. Fitz Gerald and M. Ingouff, “Arabidopsis as a model for understanding basics of endosperm development.” Book chapter in Endosperm: Developmental and Molecular Biology, edited by 0. A. Olsen. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heildelberg 91-110(2007)

J.N. Fitz Gerald, M.D. Lehti-Shiu, P.A Ingram, K.I. Deak, T. Biesiada and J.E. Malamy, “Identification of quantitative trait loci that regulate Arabidopsis root system size and plasticity.” Genetics 172(1): 485-498 (2006)

M. Ingouff, J.N. Fitz Gerald*, C. Guerin, H. Robert, M.B. Sorensen, D. Van Damme, D. Geelen, L. Blanchoin and F. Berger, “Plant formin AtFH5 is an evolutionary conserved actin nucleator involved in cytokinesis.” Nature Cell Biology 7(4): 374-380 (2005) (*co-first author)

D. Garcia, J.N. Fitz Gerald and F. Berger, “Maternal control of integument cell elongation and zygotic control of endosperm growth are coordinated to determine seed size in Arabidopsis.” Plant Cell 17(1): 52-60 (2005)

J.N. Fitz Gerald, J.A. Benjamin† and S.J. Kron, "Robust G1 checkpoint arrest in budding yeast:  Dependence on DNA damage signaling and repair," Journal of Cell Science, 115: 1749-1757 (2002)

S.H. Ahn, B.R. Tobe, J.N. Fitz Gerald, S.R. Anderson†, A. Acurio and S.J. Kron, "Enhanced cell polarity in mutants of the budding yeast cyclin-dependent kinase Cdc28p," Molecular Biology of the Cell, 12: 3589-3600 (2001)

F.M. Carland, B.L. Berg, J.N. FitzGerald, S. Jinamornphongs†, T. Nelson and B. Keith "Genetic regulation of vascular tissue patterning in Arabidopsis.” Plant Cell 11(11): 2123-37 (1999)       


Ph.D., University of Chicago, Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology
B.S., University of California at Irvine