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Diane Bassham

  • Distinguished Professor
  • Walter E. and Helen Parke Loomis Professor of Plant Physiology

Contact Info

1035B Roy J. Carver Co-Lab


  • B.S., Biochemistry, First Class (Honours), University of Birmingham, England, 1990
  • Ph.D., Biological Sciences, University of Warwick, England, 1993

More Information

Professor Bassham received her B.Sc. (Honours) in Biochemistry from the University of Birmingham, England. She received her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the University of Warwick, England. Dr. Bassham completed a post-doctoral appointment in the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory, Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, and joined the faculty at Iowa State University in 2001. In 1999, Dr. Bassham received the Anton Lang Memorial Research Excellence Award for post-doctoral research associates from Michigan State University.  In 2013, Dr. Bassham was chosen as the first Walter E. and Helen Parke Loomis Professor of Plant Physiology in GDCB.

Research Description

My research interests focus on understanding the biogenesis and functions of the plant vacuole. The vacuole is a large organelle that has diverse roles in maintenance of turgor, storage of proteins, ions and metabolites, and degradation of proteins and other macromolecules. A major research project in my lab involves the study of vacuolar autophagy, a pathway for uptake of proteins into the vacuole for degradation during environmental stress and senescence. Plants defective in this pathway are more sensitive to stress conditions and show premature leaf senescence. A second project is the analysis of the vesicle trafficking pathway delivering newly-synthesized proteins to the vacuole. Both projects involve cell and molecular approaches combined with genetic analyses to determine the function of individual proteins in the respective pathways.

Recent Publications

Pu Y, J Soto-Burgos and DC Bassham. 2017. Regulation of autophagy through SnRK1 and TOR signaling pathways. Plant Signal Behav, in press.

Soto-Burgos J, X Zhuang, L Jiang and DC Bassham. 2017. Update on autophagy: Dynamics of autophagosome formation. Plant Physiol, in press.

Morriss SC, X Liu, BE Floyd, DC Bassham and GC MacIntosh. 2017. Cell growth and homeostasis are disrupted in Arabidopsis rns2-2 mutants missing the main vacuolar ribonuclease activity. Ann Bot, in press.

Wang P, Y Mugume and DC Bassham. 2017. New advances in autophagy in plants: regulation, selectivity and function. Sem Cell Dev Biol, in press.

Soto-Burgos J and DC Bassham. 2017. SnRK1 activates autophagy via the TOR signaling pathway in Arabidopsis thaliana. PLoS ONE 12(8): e0182591.

Bassham DC and GC MacIntosh. 2017. Degradation of cytosolic ribosomes by autophagy-related pathways. Plant Sci 262: 169-174.

Bao Y, Y Mugume and DC Bassham. 2017. Biochemical methods to monitor autophagic responses in plants. Methods Enzymol. 588: 497-513.

Pu Y, X Luo and DC Bassham. 2017. TOR-dependent and –independent pathways regulate autophagy in Arabidopsis thaliana. Front Plant Sci 8: 1204.

Roy R and DC Bassham. 2017. TNO1, a TGN-localized SNARE-interacting protein, modulates root skewing in Arabidopsis thaliana. BMC Plant Biol 17: 73.

Nolan TM, B Brennan, M Yang, J Chen, M Zhang, Z Li, X Wang, DC Bassham, J Walley, and Y Yin. 2017. Selective autophagy of BES1 mediated by DSK2 balances plant growth and survival. Dev Cell 41: 33-46.

Floyd BE, Y Mugume, SC Morriss, GC MacIntosh and DC Bassham. 2017. Localization of RNS2 ribonuclease to the vacuole is required for its role in cellular homeostasis. Planta 245: 779-792.

Pu Y and DC Bassham. 2016. Detection of autophagy in plants by fluorescence microscopy. Methods Mol Biol 1450:161-72.

Yang X, R Srivastava, SH Howell and DC Bassham. 2016. Activation of autophagy by unfolded proteins during endoplasmic reticulum stress. Plant J 85: 83–95.

Klionsky et al. 2016. Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy (3rd edition). Autophagy 12: 1-222.

Bassham DC. 2015. Plant biology: Pigments on the move. Nature 526: 644-645.

Roy R and DC Bassham. 2015. Gravitropism and lateral root emergence are dependent on the trans-Golgi network protein TNO1. Front Plant Sci 6: 969.

Dong B, X Yang, S Zhu, DC Bassham and N Fang. 2015. Stochastic Optical Reconstruction Microscopy Imaging of Microtubule Arrays in Intact Arabidopsis thaliana Seedling Roots. Sci Rep 5:15694.

Floyd, BE, SC Morriss, GC MacIntosh and DC Bassham. 2015. Evidence for autophagy-dependent pathways of rRNA turnover in Arabidopsis. Autophagy 11: 2199-2212.

Yang X and DC Bassham. 2015. New insight into the mechanism and function of autophagy in plant cells. Int Rev Cell Mol Biol 320: 1-40.

Rojas H, B Floyd, S Morriss, D Bassham, G MacIntosh and A Goldraij. 2015. NnSR1, a class III non-S-RNase specifically induced in Nicotiana alata under Pi deficiency, is localized in endoplasmic reticulum compartments. Plant Sci 236:250-9.

Bassham DC. 2015. Methods for analysis of autophagy in plants. Methods 75: 181-188.

Floyd BE, Y Pu, J Soto-Burgos and DC Bassham. 2015. To live or die: Autophagy in plants. In Plant Programmed Cell Death (Springer) pp. 269-300. Ed. Paul McCabe and Arunika Gunawardena.