Plant physiology/biochemistry

November 22, 2013 / By: Amy S. Verhoeven, Ph.D.

Professional Interests

I am a plant physiologist/ biochemist with interests in how plants acclimate and adapt to stressful environments.  I am particularly interested in photosynthesis and photoprotective strategies that plants use in times of stress.  A major research focus has been on low temperature stress, and the questions I have been asking center on how plants deal with high light intensities during winter, when photosynthesis is limited.  My projects have centered on leaf antioxidant systems, a photoprotective process called the xanthophyll cycle, and an examination of how the photosynthetic light harvesting proteins change during acclimation to winter conditions, and upon recovery in the spring.  I am also interested in how plants acclimate to a variety of light conditions, particularly with regard to their complement of photosynthetic proteins.

Publications & Presentations

Names of student researchers are in bold.

Verhoeven A.S. (2012) Recovery kinetics of photochemical efficiency in winter stressed conifers:  the effects of growth light environment, extent of the season and species.  Physiologia Plantarum doi:10.1111/j.1399-3054.2012.01644.x 

Mazer SJ, Dudley LS, Hove AA, Emms SK, Verhoeven AS (2010) Physiological Performance in Clarkia Sister Taxa with Contrasting Mating Systems: Do Early-Flowering Autogamous Taxa Avoid Water Stress Relative to Their Pollinator-Dependent Counterparts? International Journal of Plant Sciences 171: 1029

Verhoeven A., Osmolak A., Morales P., Crow J., (2009)  Seasonal changes in abundance and phosphorylation status of photosynthetic proteins in eastern white pine and balsam fir.  Tree Physiology 29:362-374

Savage J.A., Cavender-Bares J., Verhoeven A., (2009)  Willow species (genus: Salix) with contrasting habitat affinities differ in their photoprotective responses to water stress.  Functional Plant Biology 36:300-309

Verhoeven AS, Swanberg A, Thao M,  Whiteman J (2005)  Seasonal changes in leaf antioxidant systems and xanthophyll cycle characteristics in Taxus x media growing in sun and shade environments.  Physiologia Plantarum 123:428-434

Bachman KM, Ebbert B, Adams WWIII, Verhoeven AS, Logan BA, Demmig-Adams B (2004) Effects of lincomycin on PSII efficiency, non-photochemical quenching, D1 protein and xanthophyll cycle during photoinhibition and recovery.  Functional Plant Biology 31(8):803-813

Barker DH, Adams WWIII, Demmig-Adams B, Logan BA, Verhoeven AS, Smith SD (2002)  Nocturnally retained zeaxanthin does not remain engaged in a state primed for energy dissipation during the summer in two Yucca species growing in the Mojave Desert.  Plant Cell and Environment   25: 95-103

Hieber DA, Bugos RC, Verhoeven AS, Yamamoto HY (2002)  Overexpression of violaxanthin de-epoxidase:  properties of C-terminal deletions on activity and pH dependent lipid binding.  Planta  214:476-483

Verhoeven AS, Bugos B, Yamamoto H (2001)  Transgenic tobacco with suppressed zeaxanthin formation is susceptible to stress-induced photoinhibition.  Photosynthesis Research  67:27-39.

Sun W-H, Verhoeven AS, Bugos RC, Yamamoto HY (2001) Suppression of zeaxanthin formation does not reduce photosynthesis and growth of transgenic tobacco plants under field conditions.  Photosynthesis Research 67:41-50.

Verhoeven AS, Adams WWIII, Demmig-Adams B, Croce R, Bassi R  (1999) Xanthophyll cycle pigment localization and dynamics during exposure to low temperatures and light stress inVinca major.  Plant Physiology 120:727-734.

Verhoeven AS, Adams WWIII, Demmig-Adams B  (1999) The xanthophyll cycle and acclimation of Pinus ponderosa and Malva neglecta to winter stress. Oecologia 118: 277-287

Verhoeven AS, Adams WWIII, Demmig-Adams B  (1998) Photoinhibition during winter stress in sun and shade Euonymus kiautschovicus leaves; the xanthophyll cycle and leaf adenylate status. Plant Cell and Environment  21: 893-903

 

Published Student Abstracts and Student Presentations

Kertho Albert, Verhoeven Amy (2011) An examination of light-dependent regulation of state transitions in gymnosperms compared with angiosperms.  American Society of Plant Biology Abstract Supplement, Abstract # P06032 (poster presentation)

Moy Andy, Verhoeven AS (2011) Investigating changes in individual light harvesting protein abundance during autumn in leaves of maple and oak. American Society of Plant Biology Abstract Supplement, Abstract # P11016 (poster presentation)

Hughes, K., Kokula A. and A. Verhoeven (2010) Antioxidant response of overwintering conifers suggest species specific strategies for coping with excess excitation energy.  Ecological Society of America, Pittsburgh, PA, August, PS 83-148 (poster presentation)

Hughes, K., Kokula A. and A. Verhoeven (2010) Antioxidant Activity in Summer versus Winter in Three Species of Conifers.  Journal of the Minnesota Academy of Science 73:14 (poster presentation)

Ferry A. and A. Verhoeven (2010) Investigation of the Light Dependence of State Transitions in Pine in Summer Compared with Winter. Journal of the Minnesota Academy of Science 73:9 (poster presentation)

Crow J. and A. Verhoeven (2009) Examining light-dependent phosphorylation of light harvesting proteins in Eastern White Pine.  Journal of the Minnesota Academy of Science 72:5 (poster presentation)

Verhoeven A, Osmolak A, Morales P & Crow J (2007) Seasonal changes in relative abundance and phosphorylation status of individual light harvesting and reaction center proteins that correlate with sustained energy dissipation in the overwintering evergreens Pinus strobus and Abies balsamea.  Photosynthesis Research 91: PS15.19, p 254. (poster presentation)

Crow, Jordan and Amy Verhoeven (2007)  Staying green during winter:  Seasonal changes in photosynthetic proteins associated with light harvesting in Pinus strobus and Abies balsamea. Journal of the Minnesota Academy of Science 70:  8 (poster presentation)

Morales Paul C, Tangen Mike S, Verhoeven Amy S (2005)  Seasonal changes in relative abundance and phosphorylation status of light harvesting and reaction center proteins in Pinus strobus and Abies balsamea.  American Society of Plant Biology Abstract Supplement, Abstract # 176  (poster presentation)

Verhoeven Amy S (2005)  Investigating the induction of the CAM photosynthetic pathway inMesembryanthemum crystallinum, an inquiry-based laboratory. American Society of Plant Biology Abstract Supplement, Abstract # 1159 (poster presentation)

Osmolak Angela, Suurmeyer Laura, Verhoeven Amy (September, 2005) Seasonal changes in relative abundance and phosphorylation status of photosynthetic proteins in sun and shade balsam fir (Abies balsamea).  Inquiry at UST Symposium (poster presentation)

Blissenbach Mike, Verhoeven Amy (September 2006) Analysis of Protein Changes Associated With Photosynthetic Recovery in Winter Stressed Conifers. Inquiry at UST Symposium (poster presentation)

Osmolak Angela, Crow Jordan, Verhoven Amy (September 2006) Seasonal changes in relative abundance and phosphorylation status of light harvesting and reaction center proteins inPinus strobus and Abies balsamea. Inquiry at UST Symposium (poster presentation)

Broeren, Margaret and Amy Verhoeven (2004)  The role of chlorophyll fluorescence methodology in Fv/Fm recovery from light stress. Journal of the Minnesota Academy of Science68:  17

Farrell, Leigh (2004)  Method development and study of the winter rearrangement of the photosystems in conifers. Journal of the Minnesota Academy of Science 68:  19

Verhoeven AS, Swanberg A, Thao, M, Whitman J (2002) Seasonal changes in leaf antioxidant systems in the evergreen Taxus cuspidate growing in sun and shade environments. American Society of Plant Biology Abstract Supplement, Abstract # 668

Swanberg A, Whiteman J and Verhoeven A (March 2003) Seasonal changes in photoprotective mechanisms of the evergreen Taxus cuspidata growing in sun and shade environments. Midwest Regional Meeting of American Society of Plant Biologists, Iowa State University, Ames IA (Oral presentation)

Swanberg, Andrea and Amy Verhoeven (2002)  Seasonal acclimation of leaf antioxidant systems in the evergreen Taxus cuspidate growing in sun vs. shade. Journal of the Minnesota Academy of Science 66:  30  

Thao, Mai and Amy Verhoeven (2002)  Seasonal variation in antioxidant activities of APX, GR, and SOD in the evergreen Taxus cuspidate growing under sun and shade.  Journal of the Minnesota Academy of Science 66:  31

Grants

  • National Science Foundation grant:  2008 through 2013
  • National Science Foundation CCLI grant:  2007 through 2010
  • USDA NRI Seed Grant – fall 2004 through fall 2006
  • Bush Grant (Core Area Grant through University of St. Thomas) - summer 2003
  • University of St. Thomas Research Assistance Grant - summer, 2000
  • National Science Foundation graduate fellowship- fall 1993 - summer 1996

Student Researchers

  • Ben Schneider
  • J.R. Mackey
  • Christine Buelt
  • Albert Kertho
  • Andy Moy
  • Kim Hughes
  • Alex Kokula
  • Angela Ferry
  • Hannah Kumar (Breck High School Student)Angela Osmolak
  • Kelly Braddock (George)
  • Mike Blissenbach
  • Jordan Crow
  • Paul Morales
  • Mike Tangen
  • Ritu Sachdeva
  • Michelle Hackner (Breck High School Student)
  • Laura Suurmeyer
  • Leigh Farrell
  • Margaret Broeren
  • Adam Yock (high school student form Breck High School)
  • John Whiteman
  • Andrea Swanberg
  • Mai Thao
  • Beth Brinda (high school student form Breck High School)
  • Niko Tsastos
  • Rob Thoms (student from Macalester college)