Center for Plant Cell Biology


Eugene NothnagelEugene Nothnagel, A

Professor of Plant Physiology

Mailing Address:

Botany and Plant Sciences
Batchelor Hall /3202
University of California
Riverside, CA 92521

Phone: (951) 827-3777
Fax: (951) 827-4437
Email: eugene.nothnagel@ucr.edu


PhD 1981 Cornell University, Ithaca New York
MS 1977 Cornell University, Ithaca New York
MS 1975 Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
BA 1973 University of Minnesota, Morris

College/Division Affiliation:

College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences

Center/Inst Affiliation(s):

Center for Plant Cell Biology

Areas Of Expertise:

Arabinogalactan-protein Structure and Function; Plant Cell Wall Structure and Function; Industrial Applications of Arabinogalactan-proteins in Gums; Biofuels from Cell Wall Polymers; Teaching

Awards / Honors:

2008  AAAS Fellow (American Association for the Advancement of Science)
2007-2008  UCR Academic Personnel Innovative Teaching Award
2006 UCR Distinguished Teaching Professor, one of four founding members of the UCR Academy of Distinguished Teachers
1999-2000 Distinguished Teaching Award, presented by the Academic Senate at the University of California, Riverside

Research Summary:

The principal research effort in our laboratory aims toward elucidating the physicochemical properties of the plant plasma membrane-cell wall interface and evaluating the role of these properties relative to plant growth and development.  Our focus is especially on the structure and function of arabinogalactan-proteins, a class of proteoglycans that exist in abundance in the cell wall and on the plasma membrane.  Our investigations have shown that perturbation of these molecules on the surface of suspension-cultured cells stops culture growth by inhibition of cell division in some cultures or by induction of cell death in other cultures.  Similar perturbation experiments with the moss Physcomitrella patens indicates a role of arabinogalactan-proteins in rhizoid tip growth.  Our biochemical purification and analyses show that Physcomitrella arabinogalactan-proteins are structurally similar to those in higher plants but contain approximately 15 mole percent of 3-O-methyl-L-rhamnosyl residues, an unusual sugar not found in angiosperm arabinogalactan-proteins and apparently not found in any other angiosperm polysaccharides.  Our current focus is on determining the precise positioning of the 3-O-methyl-L-rhamnosyl residues in Physcomitrella arabinogalactan-proteins and identification of the methyltransferase enzyme and gene responsible for this unusual and relatively nonpolar sugar.  Our long-range goal is to understand why the ability to synthesize arabinogalactan-proteins containing 3-O-methyl-L-rhamnosyl residues has been retained through evolution of primitive land plants but lost from angiosperms.  A secondary research effort in our laboratory is focused on the biotechnological applications of arabinogalactan-proteins, as exemplified by use of gum arabic in the food and pharmaceutical industries.  The overall goal of this project is to determine the structural basis of the emulsifier activity of gum arabic and to use this information to design value-added agricultural products that are excellent emulsifiers.  A recently initiated collaboration involves analysis of cell wall polymers relative to cellulosie conversion to ethanol.

Selected Publications:

List of publications from HubMed

Lab Personnel:

Fu, Hu
Graduate Student Researcher —  Structure of AGPs from Physcomitrella

More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Career OpportunitiesUCR Libraries
Campus StatusDirections to UCR

Center Information

Center for Plant Cell Biology
Botany & Plant Sciences Department
2150 Batchelor Hall

Tel: (951) 827-7177
Fax: (951) 827-5155
E-mail: genomics@ucr.edu