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Sarah Wyatt

Sarah Wyatt, portrait
Professor & Director of Molecular & Cellular Biology
Porter 508

Molecular Cellular Biology

Environmental & Plant Biology

Recent News & NASA Space Flight Information


Ph.D., Purdue University, 1995


  • Transition of floral dimorphisms
  • Plant signaling especially as it relates to the response to gravity
  • The use of genetic, genomic, proteomic and bioinformatic strategies to identify novel signaling components

In the Wyatt Lab, we use molecular, genetic and genomic tools to study plant growth and development.

Gravity is a fundamental stimulus governing plant growth and development. Normally, when plants are reoriented with respect to gravity (placed on their side), the shoots bend up and the roots bend down. We use a cold "trick" to isolate the molecular components that respond to the gravity stimulus. The gravity persistent signal (gps) mutants are the star of this show. We have further exploited the GPS response to use genomic and proteomic analysis for global gene discovery. And, of course, the true control for gravity responses is a lack of gravity. In 2014-15, we were privileged to "fly" an experiment aboard the International Space Station. And in 2017, we have another spaceflight opportunity to dissect the molecular components of gravity perception.

Other projects in the Wyatt lab involve the shift between chasmogamous (open) and cleistogamous (closed) flowers in Viola pubescens (with Harvey Ballard).

Current Projects

  • Molecular dissection of plant gravity perception (collaborator Chris Wolverton, OWU)
  • Proteomics analysis of membrane and soluble proteins from Spaceflight seedlings
  • RNAseq analysis of gene expression of Spaceflight material
  • Further characterization and cloning of GPS2, GPS3, and GPS6
  • Assembly and annotation of a genome for Viola pubescens
  • RNAseq analysis and identification of genes regulating the floral transition in violets

Other Websites

The Wyatt Lab & Team Gravitron

Ohio University Genomics Faculty — The Ohio University Genomics Facility was established in 2007 by funds secured through a NSF award to Drs. Sarah Wyatt & Morgan Vis for major instrumentation.

Ohio University Bioinformatics Initiative

Data Submissions

Wyatt, S.E., Luesse, D.R. (2015) GLDS-38 Transcriptomic and Proteomic Data from BRIC20 published to GeneLab Data System

Selected Papers

Kruse, C. P.S., Meyers, A. D., Basu, P., Hutchinson, S., Luesse, D. R., Wyatt, S. E. (2020) Spaceflight induces novel regulatory responses in Arabidopsis as revealed by combined proteomics and transcriptomic analyses, BMC Plant Biology 10:237

Sternberger, A. L., Ruhil, A. V.S., Rosenthal, D. M., Ballard, Jr., H. E., Wyatt, S. E. (2020) Environmental impact on the temporal production of chasmogamous and cleistogamous flowers in the mixed breeding system of Viola pubescens. PLOS One 15(3): e0229726 https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0229726

Kiss John Z, Wolverton SC, Wyatt SE, Hasenstein KH, van Loon JWA. (2019) Comparison of Microgravity Analogs to Spaceflight in Studies of Plant Growth and Development. Frontiers in Plant Science 10: 1577

Sternberger AL, Bowman MJ, Kruse CPS, Ballard HE, Childs KL, Wyatt SE (2019) Transcriptomics identifies modules of differentially expressed genes and novel cyclotides in Viola pubescens. Frontiers in Plant Biology 10:156

Basu P, Kruse CPS, Luesse DR, Wyatt SE (2017) Growth in spaceflight hardware results in alterations to the transcriptome and proteome. Life Science in Space Research 10.1016/j.lssr.2017.09.001

Kruse CPS, Basu P, Luesse DR, Wyatt SE (2017) Transcriptome and Proteome Stability in RNAlater® Preserved Tissue of Arabidopsis thaliana. PLOS One 12, e0175943

Wang, Y., Ballard, Jr., H. E., Stockinger, E. J., Nadella, V., Sternberger, A., Wyatt, S. E. (2017) The role of two LEAFY orthologs in the chasmogamous/cleistogamous mixed breading system of Viola pubescens (Violaceae), Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 144: 206-217

Hutchinson, S., Basu, P., Wyatt, S. E., Luesse, D. (2016) Methods for on-orbit germination of Arabidopsis thaliana for proteomic analysis. Gravitational and Space Research 4: 20-17

Basu, P., Luesse, D.R., and Wyatt, S.E. (2015) “Proteomic approaches and their application to plant gravitropism” IN: Methods in Molecular Biology Elison Blancaflor (Ed.) Springer – Humana Press

Cook CA, Tucker A, Shen K and Wyatt SE. (2015) Microarray identifies transcription factors potentially involved in gravitropic signal transduction. Gravitational and Space Research 3:18-27

Rothwell, GR, Wyatt, SE, Tomescu AMF (2014) Plant evolution at the interface of paleontology and developmental biology: an organism centered paradigm. American Journal of Botany 101: 899-913

Tomescu AMF, Wyatt SE, Hasebe M, Rothwell GR (2014) Early evolution of the vascular plant body plan - the missing mechanisms. Current Opinion in Plant Biology 17:126–136

Wyatt SE, Kiss JZ (2013) Plant Tropisms: From Darwin to the International Space Station. American Journal of Botany 100:1-3

Schenck CA, Nadella V, Clay SL, Lindner J, Abrams Z, Wyatt SE (2013) A proteomics approach identifies novel proteins involved in gravitropic signal transduction. American Journal of Botany 100:194-202

Withers JC, Shipp MJ, Rupasinghe SG, Sukumar P, Schuler M, Muday G, Wyatt SE (2013) GRAVITY PERSISTENT SIGNAL 1 (GPS1) reveals a novel cytochrome P450 involved in gravitropism. American Journal of Botany 100:183 -193

Wang, Y., Ballard, H. E., McNally, R. R., and Wyatt, S. E. (2013) Gibberellic acid is involved in, but not sufficient to invert the closed status of the cleistogamous flowers in Viola pubescens. Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 140: 1-8

Shen, K., Wyatt, S.E., Nadella, V. (2012) ArrayOU: a web application for microarray data analysis and visualization. Journal of Biomolecular Techniques 23: 37-39

Sanders, H, Rothwell, GW, and Wyatt, SE. (2011), Parallel Evolution of Auxin Regulation in Rooting Systems. Plant Systematics and Evolution. 291: 221-225.

*Luesse, DR, *Schenck, CA, Berner, BK, Justus, B, and Wyatt, SE (2010), GPS4 is allelic to ARL2: Implications for gravitropic signal transduction. Gravitational and Space Biology 23: 95-97.

Nadella, V., Shipp, M. J., Muday, G.K, Wyatt, S.E. (2006) Evidence for altered polar and lateral auxin transport in the gravity persistent signal (gps) mutants of Arabidopsis. Plant Cell and Environment 29:682-690.

Wyatt, S.E., Rashotte, A., Shipp, M.J., Muday, G.K., and Robertson, D. (2002) Mutations in the GPS loci in Arabidopsis disrupt the perception and/or signal transduction of gravitropic stimuli. Plant Physiology 130, 1426-1435.