Thomas E. Elthon

Associate Professor - Department of Agronomy and Horticulture and School of Biological Sciences

(402) 472-6245 | Email

  • Ph.D., Iowa State University, 1983

Research Interests

Adverse environmental factors, including heat stress, limit crop yields annually. In addition, environmental stresses determine plant distribution on a world-wide basis, and limit the use of certain crops or crop varieties to specific regions. We are investigating the role of several mitochondrial proteins during environmental stress. The expression and decay of one of these proteins, mitochondrial HSP22, indicates that it is involved in maintaining mitochondrial function during heat stress. We are characterizing mitochondrial HSP22 in maize which is an extremely heat-stress tolerant plant and in Arabidopsis, a heat-sensitive plant. Through understanding how mitochondrial HSP22 and other stress proteins protect mitochondrial function, we will be able to genetically engineer plants with better heat-stress tolerance characteristics.

Recent Papers

Recent Publications

Rhoads, D. M., S. J. White, Y. J. Zhou, M. Muralidharan, and T. E. Elthon. 2005. Altered gene expression in plants with constitutive expression of a corn mitochondrial small heat shock protein suggests the involvement of retrograde regulation in the heat stress response. Physiologia Plantarum (in press)

Jiao, S., J. M. Thornsberry, T. E. Elthon, and K. J. Newton. 2005. Biochemical and molecular characterization of PSI deficiency in the NCS6 mitochondrial mutant of maize. Plant Mol Biol (in press)

Rasmusson, A. J., K. L. Soole, and T. E. Elthon. 2004. Alternative NAD(P)H dehydrogenases of plant mitochondria. Annual Review of Plant Physiology and Plant Molecular Biology 55:23-39.

Karpova, O.V., E.V. Kuzmin, T.E. Elthon, and K.J. Newton. 2004. Mitochondrial respiratory deficiencies signal up-regulation of the genes for heat shock proteins. J Biol Chem 279:20672-20677.

Worthington, P., P. Blum, F. Perez-Pomares, and Thomas E. Elthon. 2002. Large scale cultivation of acidophilic hyperthermophiles for recovery of secreted proteins. App Env Micro 69:252-257.

Karpova, O.V., E.V. Kuzmin, T. E. Elthon, and K.J. Newton. 2002. Differential expression of alternative oxidase genes in respiratory deficient maize mitochondrial mutants. Plant Cell 14:1-15.

Heckman, N. L., T. E. Elthon, G. L. Horst, and R. E. Gaussoin. 2001. Influence of Trinexapac-ethyl on respiration of isolated wheat mitochondria. Crop Sci. 42:423-427.

Lund, A. A., D. M. Rhoads, A. L. Lund, R. L. Cerny, and T. E. Elthon. 2001. In vivo modifications of the maize mitochondrial low molecular weight heat stress protein, HSP22. J. Biol. Chem. 276:29924-29929.

Corina Borghouts, Alexandra Werner, Thomas Elthon, and Heinz D. Osiewacz. 2001. Copper-modulated gene expression and senescence in the filamentous fungus Podospora anserina. Mol Cell Biol 21:390-399.

Bhadula, S. K., T. E. Elthon, J. E. Habben, T. G. Helentjaris, S. Jiao, and Z. Ristic. 2001. Heat-stress induced synthesis of chloroplast protein synthesis elongation factor (EF-Tu) in a heat-tolerant maize line. Planta 212:359-366. Sun, W. H., G. L. Horst, R. A. Drijber, and T. E. Elthon. 2000. Fate of 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene in axenic sand culture systems containing smooth bromegrass. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 19:2038-2046.