David C. Nelson
Assistant Professor - Genetics
Office: 
Life Sciences, Rm B101
Phone Number:  706-542-0529
Fax: 
706-542-3910
Education: 

Ph.D. , University of Wisconsin - Madison 2006

Research Projects: 

I am interested in uncovering signal transduction mechanisms that enable plants to sense and respond to their environment. Currently my lab's research is focused on the phenomenon of smoke-induced seed germination - an adaptive trait known to be used by over a thousand plant species to rapidly recolonize the post-fire landscape. We are using genetic approaches in the model system Arabidopsis thaliana to define the smoke-response pathway and determine how it influences plant development through crosstalk with light- and hormone-signaling networks. Ultimately we will apply comparative genetics methods to investigate the broader role of this mechanism in fire ecology and its adaptation among land plants.

Selected Publications: 
  • Nelson, D.C., A. Scaffidi, E.A. Dun, M.T. Waters, G.R. Flematti, K.W. Dixon, C.A. Beveridge, E.L. Ghisalberti, and S.M. Smith. 2011. F-box protein MAX2 has dual roles in karrikin and strigolactone signaling in Arabidopsis thaliana. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 108:8897-8902.
  • Scaffidi, A., G.R. Flematti, D.C. Nelson, K.W. Dixon, S.M. Smith, and E.L. Ghisalberti. 2011. The synthesis and biological evaluation of labelled karrikinolides for the elucidation of the mode of action of the seed germination stimulant. Tetrahedron 67:152-157.
  • Nelson, D.C., G.R. Flematti, J. Riseborough, E.L. Ghisalberti, K.W. Dixon, and S.M. Smith. 2010. Karrikins enhance light responses during germination and seedling development in Arabidopsis thaliana. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 107:7095-7100.
  • Flematti, G.R., A. Scaffidi, E.D. Goddard-Borger, C.H. Heath, D.C. Nelson, L.E. Commander, R.V. Stick, K.W. Dixon, S.M. Smith, and E.L. Ghisalberti. 2010. Structure-activity relationship of karrikin germination stimulants. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 58:8612-8617.
  • Chiwocha, S.D.S., K.W. Dixon, G.R. Flematti, E.L. Ghisalberti, D.J. Merritt, D.C. Nelson, J. Riseborough, S.M. Smith, and J.C. Stevens. 2009. Karrikins: A new family of plant growth regulators in smoke. Plant Science 177:252-256.
  • Nelson, D.C., J. Riseborough, G.R. Flematti, J.C. Stevens, E.L. Ghisalberti, K.W. Dixon, and S.M. Smith. 2009. Karrikins discovered in smoke trigger Arabidopsis seed germination by a mechanism requiring gibberellic acid synthesis and light. Plant Physiology 149:863-873.