Skip to Main Page Content

Roberto Gaxiola

School of Life Sciences
Faculty
Campus:
TEMPE
Mailcode:
4501

Biography

Roberto Gaxiola studies the physiological mechanisms by which plants regulate root activity and nutrient uptake. Facing the problem of insufficient agricultural production in the midst of a growing worldwide population, Gaxiola and his research team hope to find ways to augment plant root biomass ¿ a key strategy for developing cultivated crops that use water and nutrients more effectively.

Using genetic and physiological experiments, the researchers have characterized a protein within plant membranes that controls how sugar moves from leaves to roots. By artificially enhancing this protein, root activity and plant nutrient absorption are greatly increased, resulting in more robust root systems with improved water and nutrient uptake efficiency.

Gaxiola's work may be used to engineer crops that could help secure future food supplies.

Education

PhD, 1991, Ruprecht-Karls University of Heidelberg

Research Interests

Plant Molecular Biology and Physiology/ Root engineering for crop improvement. Finding ways to improve productivity in marginal agricultural lands has been the driving force of my research program. Enhanced root mass is expected to increase crop biomass and seed yields, making the root system an extremely attractive candidate for engineering crops to step up productivity. INVITED LECTURES International Symposium on Plant Membrane Transport:New developments of Membrane transporter research. At the University of Tokyo, Japan. December 8th, 2007. XII Congreso de Bioquimica y Biologia Molecular de Plantas from the Sociedad Mexicana de Bioquimica at Veracruz, Mexico November 11-15, 2007. USA-Pakistan Symposium on Plant Stress Biology at University of California, Davis, USA November 4-5, 2007. VI Encuentro Latinoamericano y del Caribe de Biotecnologia Agropecuaria, at Vina del Mar, Chile October 22- 26, 2007. XIV International Workshop Plant Membrane Biology at the Universidad Politecnica de Valencia, Spain June 26 - 30, 2007. PUBLICATIONS Haibing Yang, Jane Knapp, Pratistha Koirala, Divya Rajagopal, Wendy Ann Peer, Lawrence K. Silbart, Angus Murphy and Roberto A. Gaxiola. Enhanced phosphorus nutrition in monocots and dicots overexpressing a phosphorus-responsive type I H+-PPase (2007) Plant Biotechnology Journal 5: 735-745

Publications

  • Julio Paez-Valencia, Jonathan Lares-Sanchez, Ellen Marsh, Liane T.  Dorneles, Mirella P. Santos, Alexander Winter, Sean Murphy, Jennifer Cox, Marcin Trzaska, Jason Metler, Alex Kozic, Charles A. Sanchez, Arnoldo Francana, Daniel Schachtman, and Roberto A. Gaxiola. (2013). Enhanced H+-PPase activity improves nitrogen use efficiency in Romaine Lettuce. Plant Physiology 161, 1 - 13.
  • Roberto A. Gaxiola, Charles A. Sanchez, Julio Paez-Valencia, and James J. Elser (2012). H+-PPases and Pi limitation. Genetic Manipulation of a “Vacuolar” H+-PPase: From Salt Tolerance to Yield Enhancement Under Phosphorus-Deficient Soils. Plant Physiology. 159: 1-9. 
  • S. Undurraga, M. P-Santos, J. Paez-Valencia, H. Yang, P.K. Hepler, A.R. Facanha, K.D. Hirschi, R. A. Gaxiola. (2012) Arabidopsis sodium dependent and independent phenotypes triggered by H+-PPase up-regulation are SOS1 dependent. Plant Science. 183: 96-105. 
  • Paez-Valencia J, Patron-Soberano A, Rodriguez-Leviz A, Sanchez-Lares J, Sanchez-Gomez C, Valencia-Mayoral P, Diaz-Rosas G, Gaxiola R. A. (2011) Plasma membrane localization of the type I H+-PPase AVP1 in sieve element-companion cell complexes from Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant Science 181: 23 – 30.
  • Gaxiola R. A., Edwards M, Elser JJ. (2011) A transgenic approach to enhance phosphorus use efficiency in crops as part of a comprehensive strategy for sustainable agriculture. Chemosphere 84: 840 – 845.

*************************************************************************************************************************************************

  • Roberto A. Gaxiola, Charles A. SanchezVS, Julio Paez-Valencia, and James J. Elser. H+-PPases and Pi limitation. Genetic Manipulation of a "Vacuolar" H+-PPase: From Salt Tolerance to Yield Enhancement Under Phosphorus-Deficient Soils. Plant Physiology (2012).
  • S. UndurragaG, M. P-SantosVS, J. Paez-Valencia, H. YangG, P.K. Hepler, A.R. Facanha, K.D. Hirschi, R. Gaxiola. Arabidopsis sodium dependent and independent phenotypes triggered by H+-PPase up-regulation are SOS1 dependent. Plant Science (2012).
  • Gaxiola RA, Edwards M, Elser JJ. A transgenic approach to enhance phosphorus use efficiency in crops as part of a comprehensive strategy for sustainable agriculture. Chemosphere (2011).
  • Paez-Valencia J, Patron-Soberano A, Rodriguez-Leviz A, Sanchez-Lares JU, Sanchez-Gomez C, Valencia-Mayoral P, Diaz-Rosas G, Gaxiola R. Plasma membrane localization of the type I H+-PPase AVP1 in sieve element-companion cell complexes from Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant Science (2011).
  • Zhang H., Shen G., Kuppu S., Gaxiola R., Payton P. Creating drought-and salt-tolerant cotton by overexpressing a vacuolar pyrophosphatase gene. Plant Signaling & Behavior (2011).
  • Fuglsang, A.T., Paez-Valencia, J., Gaxiola, R.A. Plant Proton Pumps: Regulatory Circuits Involving H+-ATPase and H+-PPase. Transporters and Pumps in Plant Signaling, Signaling and Communication in Plants (2011).

Research Activity

  • Gaxiola,Roberto A*. Collaborative Research: Integrating Two Different Roles of the Proton-Pumping Pyrophosphatase in the Regulation and Efficiency of Carbon Utilization. NSF-BIO-IOS(1/1/2012 - 12/31/2015).
  • Gaxiola,Roberto A*. Exploring the Potential of Transgenic Crops for Improved Fertilizer Use Efficiency. UNIV OF AZ(1/1/2012 - 1/31/2014).
  • Gaxiola,Roberto A*. Individual and Combined Effects of Transgenes Conferring Drought and Salt Tolerance in Rice. NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIV(1/1/2012 - 12/31/2012).
  • Gaxiola,Roberto A*. Screening Potential Lettuce Breeding Lines for Improved Nutrient Use Efficiency. UNIV OF AZ(10/27/2011 - 9/30/2012).
  • Gaxiola,Roberto A*. Transgenic Vegetables for Fertilizer Use Efficiency. UNIV OF AZ(10/12/2011 - 9/30/2013).
  • Gaxiola,Roberto A*. Individual and Combined Effects of Transgenes Conferring Drought and Salt Tolerance in Rice. NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIV(1/1/2009 - 12/31/2010).
  • Gaxiola,Roberto A*. H+-PPase AVP1 and Root Growth. USDA-CSREES(9/15/2007 - 9/14/2009).
  • Gaxiola,Roberto A*. Engineering Cotton for Higher Salt and Drought Tolerance. TEXAS TECHNOLOGY UNIV(9/1/2007 - 8/31/2011).

Courses

Spring 2016
Course Number Course Title
BIO 495 Undergraduate Research
MBB 495 Undergraduate Research
PLB 498 Pro-Seminar
PLB 591 Seminar
Fall 2016
Course Number Course Title
BIO 495 Undergraduate Research
Spring 2015
Course Number Course Title
MBB 495 Undergraduate Research
BIO 495 Undergraduate Research
Fall 2015
Course Number Course Title
MBB 350 Applied Genetics
MBB 350 Applied Genetics
MBB 350 Applied Genetics
PLB 350 Applied Genetics
PLB 350 Applied Genetics
PLB 350 Applied Genetics
MBB 495 Undergraduate Research
BIO 495 Undergraduate Research
BIO 495 Undergraduate Research
Spring 2014
Course Number Course Title
MBB 350 Applied Genetics
MBB 350 Applied Genetics
PLB 350 Applied Genetics
MBB 350 Applied Genetics
PLB 350 Applied Genetics
BIO 493 Honors Thesis
BIO 495 Undergraduate Research
Fall 2014
Course Number Course Title
PLB 308 Plant Physiology
MBB 495 Undergraduate Research
BIO 495 Undergraduate Research
BIO 495 Undergraduate Research
Spring 2013
Course Number Course Title
MBB 350 Applied Genetics
MBB 350 Applied Genetics
PLB 350 Applied Genetics
PLB 350 Applied Genetics
MBB 350 Applied Genetics
BIO 493 Honors Thesis
BIO 495 Undergraduate Research
Fall 2013
Course Number Course Title
BIO 189 Life Sciences Career Paths
PLB 308 Plant Physiology
BIO 492 Honors Directed Study
BIO 495 Undergraduate Research
Spring 2012
Course Number Course Title
MBB 350 Applied Genetics
PLB 350 Applied Genetics
PLB 350 Applied Genetics
MBB 350 Applied Genetics
BIO 495 Undergraduate Research
MBB 495 Undergraduate Research
MCB 701 Seminar:Molecular/Cellular Bio
Fall 2012
Course Number Course Title
PLB 394 Special Topics
BIO 394 Special Topics
BIO 492 Honors Directed Study
BIO 495 Undergraduate Research
Fall 2011
Course Number Course Title
MBB 343 Genetic Engineering & Society
MBB 343 Genetic Engineering & Society
BIO 343 Genetic Engineering & Society
MBB 343 Genetic Engineering & Society
MBB 343 Genetic Engineering & Society
MBB 343 Genetic Engineering & Society
MBB 343 Genetic Engineering & Society
BIO 343 Genetic Engineering & Society
BIO 343 Genetic Engineering & Society
BIO 343 Genetic Engineering & Society
MBB 343 Genetic Engineering & Society
BIO 343 Genetic Engineering & Society
BIO 343 Genetic Engineering & Society
BIO 343 Genetic Engineering & Society
BIO 343 Genetic Engineering & Society
MBB 343 Genetic Engineering & Society
MBB 495 Undergraduate Research
MBB 495 Undergraduate Research
MBB 495 Undergraduate Research
BIO 499 Individualized Instruction
MBB 499 Individualized Instruction

Presentations

  • Roberto Gaxiola. "Engineering Crops with Enhanced Water and Nutrient Use Efficiencies.". International Symposium on Experimental Biology. Guanajuato Gto. Mexico (Oct 2014).
  • Roberto Gaxiola. "H+-PPases from salt tolerance to sucrose transport.". Gordon Research Conference on Salt & Water Stress in Plants. Sunday River Resort, Newry, ME, USA (Aug 2014).
  • Roberto Gaxiola. "Generating Genetically Modified Plants is not a Random Event.". 5th World Congress on Biotechnology. Valencia Spain (Jun 2014).
  • ¿ Julio Paez-Valencia, Araceli Patron-Soberano, Concepcion Sanchez-Gomez4, Jonathan Sanchez-Lares1, Tara FurstenauG, Matthew HiltonG, Pedro Valencia-Mayoral, Brian G. Ayre, Kendal D.Hirschi, and Roberto A. Gaxiola. P06028. H+-PPase AVP1 is necessary for phloem development in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant Biology 2012 Austin, Texas July 22-24th (Jul 2012).
  • Aswad Khadikar, Brian G. Ayre, and Roberto A. Gaxiola. P16035. Proton-pumping pyrophosphatase AVP1 functions in the phloem to regulate rates of transport. Plant Biology 2012 Austin, Texas July 22-24th (Jul 2012).
  • Roberto A. Gaxiola. "A transgenic approach to enhance phosphorus use efficiency in crops as part of a comprehensive strategy for sustainable agriculture". Frontiers in life sciences: Sustainable phosphorus summit. Arizona State University, Tempe Arizona (Feb 2011).
  • Roberto A. Gaxiola. "Integrating the in planta roles of the proton-pumping pyrophosphatase in the regulation and efficiency of carbon utilization and transport". VII Encuentro Latinoamericano y del Caribe sobre Biotecnologia Agropecuaria REDBIO Mexico 2010 (Nov 2010).
  • Roberto A. Gaxiola. "Bulking Up:Making Plants Bigger and Better". Society for the Advancement of Chicano and Native America Scientists (SACNAS) conference in Anaheim, (Sep 2010).
  • Roberto A Gaxiola. "Engineering H+-PPases in Plants". 2010 FASEB Summer Research Conferences. Transport ATPases: From Molecules to Maladies. Snowmass Vil (Jun 2010).
  • Roberto A. Gaxiola. Transgenic plants over-expressing V-PPases: a new strategy to enhance plant biomass and stress tolerance. XII Meeting of the Brazilian Society of Plant Physiology "Challenges for Food Production and Bioener (Sep 2009).
  • Roberto A. Gaxiola. Manipulation of proton gradients and their effects in plant nutrition and biomass formation. XVI International Plant Nutrition Colloquim "Healthy Plants - Healthy Planet" at Sacramento Californ (Aug 2009).
  • Roberto A. Gaxiola. Manipulation of proton gradients and their effects in plant nutrition and biomass formation. Seminar series of The Department of Horticultural Sciences Texas A&M (Mar 2009).
  • Roberto A. Gaxiola. Manipulation of proton gradients and their effects in plant nutrition and biomass formation. Children's Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine Seminar Series. Houston Texas (Mar 2009).

Service

  • Representing member from SOLS for the Arizona State University Safety Committee., Reviewer of the requests to use dangerous materials, SOPs, and issue approvals. (2014 - Present)
  • Associate Director for Facilities at the School of Life Sciences., I am responsible for 153 research and 33 teaching laboratories (2014 - Present)
  • SOLS RTI, reviewer of applications for RTI grants (2014 - Present)
  • SoLS Undergraduate Programs Committee, Representing the Cellular and Molecular Bioscience concentration (2011 - Present)
  • Frontiers Plant Science/ Frontiers in Plant Nutrition., Member of the editorial board (2011 - Present)
  • Ministerio de Ciencia, Tercnologia e Inovacion Productiva de la Nacion FONCyT Buenos Aires Argetina, Ad Hoc Reviewer (2011 - Present)
  • Barrett, The Honors College at ASU, Faculty Honors Advisor (2009 - Present)
  • SOLUR, Reviewer (2008 - Present)
  • Greenhouse Committee, (2007 - Present)
  • Steinbeck Innovation Cluster, Member of the ASU team (2013 - 2014)
  • Executive Committee meeting of the American Society of Plant Biologists., Representant of the Western Section (2012 - 2012)
  • SOLUR, Reviewer for Solur Fellow Applications (2008 - 2010)
  • National Science Foundation, Panel member (2008 - 2008)