The Poovaiah Laboratory

Calcium Signaling in Plants

Welcome to the Calcium Signaling in Plants website.

The focus of the Poovaiah research laboratory is on calcium/calmodulin-mediated signaling in plants. In 1984, we documented calcium- and calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein phosphorylation in plants (Science 1984; Plant Physiology 1984). In 1995, we cloned and characterized a calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase which we named CCaMK (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 1995, communicated by Edwin Krebs, Nobel Laureate).

It is becoming clear that CCaMK plays a critical role in both bacterial and fungal symbioses in plants (see CCaMK movie above, right, illustrating how CCaMK is regulated by calcium and calcium/calmodulin; the root hair movie shows dynamic changes in calcium concentration in response to bacterial Nod signal). We also documented how calcium/calmodulin and their interactors play unique roles in controlling plant growth (Nature 2005), plant:bacterial symbiosis (Nature 2006) and plant defense/immunity (Nature 2009, highlighted in Cell 2009). These results document novel regulatory mechanisms where calcium acts as a “master switch” in controlling various physiological processes in plants.

Learn more

Please visit the links to the left to learn more about Professor Poovaiah and his involvement at Washington State University.


(Click the icons below to view)

Click to view CCaMK movie Click to view root hair movie

Joe Poovaiah

B.W. Poovaiah
WSU Regents Professor and Department Chair
Associate Director of Viticulture Program
Department of Horticulture
Washington State University
PO Box 646414
Pullman, WA 99164-6414

509-335-2487 (office)
509-335-2462 (lab)
509-335-8690 (FAX)

The Poovaiah Laboratory, PO Box 646414, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-6414, 509-335-2487/2462, Contact Us.