Daniel B SzymanskiDaniel B Szymanski

Professor of Agronomy

Department: Agronomy
Phone: 765.494.8092
Fax: 765.496.2926
Office: WSLR 226
E-mail: szymandb@purdue.edu

Area of Expertise: Genetics and Cell Biology of Plant Growth


My lab provides new knowledge about how plant cells integrate central carbon metabolism with cell signaling and growth control. Research questions are centered on Rac small GTPase-mediated signal transduction. Measurements in the lab span spatial scales, from the dynamic assembly of protein complexes that control vesicle trafficking and the cytoskeleton to the macroscopic assembly of micrometer-sized cortical patches that modulate the cell wall and define the patterns of cell growth. The research grew out of, and uses the model plant Arabidopsis (http://www.arabidopsis.org/) as a workhorse for both molecular genetics and cell biology. However, recent projects also involve both legume and monocot species (maize), and seek to understand how conserved regulatory pathways operate as plants grow and establish beneficial symbiotic relationships during root nodule formation. 

Published Work

Yanagisawa, M., Zhang, C., and Szymanski, D.B. 2013. ARP2/3-dependent growth in the plant kingdom: SCARs for life. Frontiers in Plant Science 4, 1-12.

Zhang, C., Mallery, E., Reagan, S., Boyko, V.P., Kotchoni, S.O., and Szymanski, D.B. 2013. The endoplasmic reticulum is a reservoir for WAVE/SCAR regulatory complex signaling in the Arabidopsis leaf. Plant Physiol 162, 689-706.

Zhang, C., Mallery, E., and Szymanski, D.B. 2013. ARP2/3 localization in Arabidopsis leaf pavement cells: a diversity of intracellular pools and cytoskeletal interactions. Frontiers in Plant Biology 4, 1-16.

Zhang, C., Halsey, L., Szymanski, D.B. 2011 The development and geometry of shape change in Arabidopsis thaliana cotyledon pavement cells. BMC Plant Biology DOI: .10.1186/1471-2229-11-27.

Zhang, C., Kotchoni, S.O., Samuels, A.L., Szymanski, D.B. 2010 SPIKE1 signals originate   from and assemble specialized domains of the endoplasmic reticulum. Curr. Biol. 20, 2144-2149.

Kotchoni, S.O., Zakharova, T., E.L., M., Le, J., El-Assal, S.E., and Szymanski, D.B. 2009. The association of the Arabidopsis actin-related protein (ARP) 2/3 complex with cell membranes is linked to its assembly status, but not its activation. Plant Physiol. 151, 2095-2109.

Basu, D. , Le, J., Zakharova, T., Mallery, E.L., and Szymanski, D.B. 2008 A SPIKE1 signaling complex controls actin-dependent morphogenesis through the WAVE and ARP2/3 complexes. PNAS USA 105, 4044-4049.

Zhang, C. , Mallery, E. L., Schlueter, J., Huang, S., Fan, Y., Brankle, S. Staiger, C.J.,  and Szymanski, D.B.  2008 Arabidopsis SCARs function interchangeably to meet ARP2/3-activation thresholds during morphogenesis. Plant Cell 20, 995-1011.

Le, J., Mallery, E.L., Zhang, C., Brankle, S., Szymanski, D.B. 2006 Arabidopsis BRICK1/HSPC300 is an essential subunit of the WAVE complex that selectively stabilizes the Arp2/3 activator SCAR2. Curr. Biol. 16, 895-901

Basu, D., Le, J., El-Essal, S.E., Huang, S., Mallery, E., Koliantz, G., Staiger C.J., Szymanski, D.B. 2005 DISTORTED3/SCAR2 is a Putative Arabidopsis WAVE Complex Subunit that Activates Arp2/3 Complex and is Required for Epidermal Morphogenesis. Plant Cell 17, 502-524.

Szymanski, D.B. 2005 Breaking the WAVE complex: the point of Arabidopsis trichomes. Curr. Opin. Plant Biol. 8, 103-112.

Basu, D., El-Assal, S.E., Le, J., Mallery, E.L., and Szymanski, D.B. 2004 Interchangeable functions of Arabidopsis PIROGI and the human WAVE complex subunit SRA-1 during leaf epidermal morphogenesis. Development 131, 4345-4355.

El-Assal, S.E., Le, J., Basu, D., Mallery, E.L., and Szymanski, D.B. 2004 Arabidopsis GNARLED encodes a NAP125 homologue that positively regulates ARP2/3. Curr. Biol. 14, 1405-1409.

El-Assal, S.E., Le, J., Basu, D., Mallery, E.L., Szymanski, D.B. 2004 DISTORTED2 encodes an ARPC2 subunit of the putative Arabidopsis ARP2/3 complex. Plant Journal 38: 526-538.

Le, J. , El-Assal, S.E.-D., Basu, D., Saad, M.E., and Szymanski, D.B. Requirements for Arabidopsis ATARP2 and ATARP3 during epidermal development. 2003 Curr Biol 13: 1341-1347.

Qiu, J.L., Jilk, R., Marks, M.D., Szymanski, D.B. The Arabidopsis SPIKE1 gene is required for normal cell shape control and tissue development. 2002 Plant Cell 14: 101-118. 

Invited Reviews

Szymanski, D.B. 2009. Plant cells taking shape: new insights into cytoplasmic control.   Curr. Opin. Plant Biol. 12, 735-744.

Szymanski, D.B., and Cosgrove, D.J. 2009. Dynamic coordination of cytoskeletal and cell   wall systems during plant cell morphogenesis. Curr. Biol. 19, R800-R811.

Szymanski, D.B. Tubulin folding cofactors: Half a dozen for a dimer. 2002 Curr. Biol. 12: R767-R769.



Ph.D. University of Illinois, 1995

Professional Faculty Research

Molecular genetics, live cell imaging, biochemistry, computational modeling of plant cell morphogenesis


2010                 Purdue Seeds for Success Award
2009                 Purdue Agricultural Research Award
2008                 Purdue Discovery Park Research Award
2008                 Purdue International Travel Award
2006                 Study in a Second Discipline, Purdue University

Other Activities

Society Membership:
Member American Association for the Advancement of Science
Member American Society of Cell Biology
Member American Society of Plant Biology

Editorial Boards:
Frontiers in Plant Cell Biology
Plant Physiology