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Indiana University Bloomington

Department of Biology

Faculty & Research

Faculty Profile

Sidney Shaw

Photo of Sidney Shaw
Research Images
Research photo by Sidney Shaw

Cortical microtubules in living Arabidopsis cells.

Research photo by Sidney Shaw

Microtubules influence cellular morphogensis.

Associate Professor of Biology and Technical Director, Light Microscopy Imaging Center

IU Affiliations
Indiana Molecular Biology Institute

Contact Information
By telephone: 812-856-5001
MY 354

Shaw Lab website

Genome, Cell & Developmental Biology
Research Areas
  • Eukaryotic Cell Biology, Cytoskeleton and Signaling
  • Plant Molecular Biology

MPhil. Cambridge University, 1991

Ph.D., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 1996

Postdoctoral and Research Fellow, Stanford University, 2005

Research Description

The Shaw laboratory studies how the microtubule cytoskeleton organizes and influences cell shape.   We focus on the interphase microtubule arrays in Arabidopsis plants as a model for understanding how cells generate ordered patterns in acentriolar cells.   If the randomly arranged microtubules in a growing plant cell organize into a co-aligned array, like hoops around a barrel, the cell will elongate into a rod shape instead of a sphere.   The influence of the microtubules comes as a result of their ability to organize and reorganize in response to spatially defined cellular cues.   The fundamental mechanisms by which the microtubules recognize the cell axis, become co-aligned, and alter the cell wall properties to influence cell expansion are not yet known.

Using live-cell imaging techniques, computer simulation studies, and the powerful genetic tools available in the Arabidopsis system, we are discovering how the dynamic properties of the microtubule cytoskeleton contribute to the morphogenesis of the cell.   Our discovery that cortical microtubules reposition themselves through polymer treadmilling has dramatically reshaped the hypotheses for array organization.   Microtubule polymers in the plant cortical array ’move’ when tubulin subunits bind to one end and concordantly unbind from the other.  This remarkable mechanism leads to microtubule interactions and other behaviors currently under study.   Development of new imaging and image analysis technology in the lab, combined with the genetic screens in the Arabidopsis system, is providing exciting opportunity for studying cytoskeletal organization in the entire cell and quantitatively relating microtubule array pattern to anisotropic cell growth.

Select Publications
Sidney L. Shaw. 2013  Reorganizaing the Plant Cortical Microtubule Array.  Current Opinion in Plant Biology (in press)
Laura Vineyard, Andrew Elliott, Sonia Dhingra, Jessica R. Lucas, and Sidney L. Shaw.  2013  Progressive transverse microtubule array organization in hormone-induced Arabidopsis hypocotyl cells.  The Plant Cell 25(2):662-676 
Sidney L. Shaw and David W. Ehrhardt.  2013  Smaller, Faster, Brighter: Advances in Optical Imaging of Living Plant Cells.  Annual Review of Plant Biology 64(32):351-375
Jessica R. Lucas and Sidney L. Shaw. 2012  MAP65-1 and MAP65-2 promote cell proliferation and axial growth in Arabidopsis roots. Plant Journal 71(3):443-453.

Marcio Mourao, Santiago Schnell, and Sidney L. Shaw.  2011.  Macroscopic simulations of microtubule dynamics predict two steady-state processes governing array morphology. Computational Biology and Chemistry 35(5):269-281.  

Jessica R. Lucas, Stephanie Courtney, Mathew Hassfurder, Sonia Dhingra, Adam Bryant, and Sidney L. Shaw. 2011  Microtubule-associated proteins MAP65-1 and MAP65-2 positively regulate axial cell growth in etiolated Arabidopsis hypocotyls. The Plant Cell 23:1876-1888.
Lesley N. Weaver, Stephanie C. Ems-McClung, Jane R. Stout, Chantal LeBlanc, Sidney L. Shaw, Melissa K. Gardner, and Claire E. Walczak.  2011.  Kif18A Utilizes a Microtubule Binding Site in the Tail for Plus-end Localization and Spindle Length Regulation.  Current Biology 21(17):1500-1506.

Jessica E. Hornick, Christopher C. Mader, Emily K. Tribble, Cydney C. Bagne, Kevin T. Vaughan, Sidney L. Shaw, and Edward H. Hinchcliffe.  2011 Mitotic spindle assembly in vertebrate cells: The separation of themicrotubule- organizing center at the G2/M transition does not require centrosomes. Current Biology 21:1-8.  

Claire Walczak  and Sidney L. Shaw.  2010. Perspective: A MAP for bundling microtubules. Cell 142:364-367  

Sidney L. Shaw and Jessica Lucas.  2010.  Intrabundle microtubule dynamics in the Arabidopsis cortical array. Cytoskeleton  68: 56–67  
Jessica Lucas and Sidney L. Shaw. 2008 Microtubule organization in the Arabidopsis seedling. Current Opinion in Plant Biology 11(1):94-98.
E. D. Salmon, Sidney L. Shaw, Jennifer Waters, Clare M. Waterman-Storer, Paul Maddox, Elaine Yeh, and Kerry Bloom. 2007. A high-resolution multimode digital microscope system. Methods in Cell Biology 81:187-218. Academic Press, New York.
Sidney L. Shaw. 2006. Imaging and the live plant cell. Plant Journal 45:573-598.
Jacques Dumais, Sidney L. Shaw, Charles R. Steele, Sharon R. Long and Peter M. Ray. 2006 An anisotropic-viscoplastic model of plant cell morphogenesis by tip growth. International Journal of Developmental Biology 50: 209-222.
David Ehrhardt and Sidney L. Shaw. 2006. Microtubule Dynamics and Organization in the Plant Cortical array. Annual Reviews in Plant Molecular Biology 57:859-875.
Sidney L. Shaw, Roheena Kamyar and David W. Ehrhardt. 2003. Sustained microtubule treadmilling in Arabidopsis cortical arrays. Science 300(5626):1715-1718.

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