Big thanks to CALS for featuring our work on short (aka pixie) corn

May 28, 2024

It was great to chat with Ann Robinson in the CALS newsroom about how we discovered that auxin transport can influence organ size in maize. We affectionately refer to our short corn mutants as "pixie corn". Read the story here.

We got the cover of PNAS!

May 28, 2024

We are super stoked to see our latest work on the cover of PNAS. The photo of pils6 crown roots was taken by Craig Cowling and artistically rendered by my mom, China Rose.

Sophia Waber got a Genetics Summer Undergraduate Internship!

April 16, 2024

Sophia Waber, a Freshman in CALS, was awarded a Sui Tong Chan Fung Fund for the Promotion of Study and Research in Genetics - Summer Undergraduate Internship for summer 2024. This is a fantastic summer internship that will support Sophia's research in our lab on the roles of cell wall biosynthesis enzymes in Arabidopsis growth and development. We are so grateful for this funding. Thank you to GDCB and the Sui Tong Chan Fung Fund! 

Ella McGrath got a ASPB SURF!

March 28, 2024

Ella McGrath, a Freshman in CALS, was awarded a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) from the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) for summer 2024. This is a fantastic fellowship that will provide a summer stipend to Ella, funds for research supplies, and support for her to attend Plant Biology 2025 to present her work. Ella is conducting a reverse genetic screen for auxin pathway proteins in maize, which will further our understanding of growth regulation in cereal crops. We are so grateful for this funding! Thank you ASPB! 

First-Year Honors Program Mentor Grants awarded

March 19, 2024

Sophia Waber and Ella McGrath are CALS Freshman doing research in the lab as part of the First-Year Honors Program (FHMP). We are grateful for two FHMP Mentor Grants to support their studies! Sophia is studying the functions of PIN-LIKES (PILS) auxin transporters using genetic approaches in Arabidopsis while Ella is conducting a reverse genetic screen for auxin pathway proteins in maize. They will present their work next month at our ISU Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Jodi is now a PhD candidate!

October 27, 2023

Jodi Callwood, a graduate student in the Bioinformatics & Computational Biology Graduate Group, has successfully passed her preliminary oral exam. Congrats Jodi! 

Bon voyage Linkan and Jackson

September 11, 2023

We are missing Linkan and Jackson but so proud of them for getting awesome jobs at Corteva. We know they will do great things as scientists in industry!

Craig is now a PhD candidate!

August 29, 2023

Craig Cowling, a graduate student in the Interdepartmental Plant Biology Graduate Group, has successfully passed his preliminary oral exam. Congrats Craig! 

Alex has successfully defended his Masters thesis!

June 28, 2023

Alex Austin has completed his Masters thesis research characterizing gene expression and metabolism changes in maize pollen using integrated omics approaches. Alex was a graduate student in the Interdepartmental Plant Biology Graduate Group. We wish him all the best in his scientific career and look forward to continued collaborations with PowerPollen. Alex's work will be available as preprints soon - keep an eye out!

Dami's beautiful work on ATM1 is now published in Development

June 12, 2023

Our new story on ATM1, a Class VIII myosin, is now online. Congrats Dami!

Congrats to Cait and Jasper for being accepted to graduate school! 

May 3, 2023

Caitlin Leigh will join the Science Education MAT program this summer at ISU to pursue her career goal of becoming a high school biology teacher. Jasper will join the Computer Science graduate program here at ISU to further his computational training and research experience. We are so excited for both of them.

Congrats to Jodi for being a DoD SMART scholar and to Allison for being awarded an NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) fellowship with the Dependable Data Driven Discovery (D4) program!

May 3, 2023

Jodi was awarded a Department of Defense SMART scholarship to support her PhD research on predictive biological networks and plant phenomics. Allison will join a new cohort of D4 trainees in July 2023 to continue developing her data driven graduate research on systems genetics. We are grateful for the NSF and DoD support and look forward to their participation in these amazing programs!

Congrats to Linkan for a successful PhD defense!

April 12, 2023

The first PhD student from the Kelley Lab, Linkan Dash, completed his final thesis defense today. Linkan was a graduate student in the Interdepartmental Genetics & Genomics graduate program and investigated the roles of auxin-regulated proteins in plant growth and development. Congrats Linkan!

We got the cover of Current Protocols!

Nov 9, 2022

Artwork designed by my mom, China Rose.

Current Protocols Oct 2022 cover

Congrats to Melissa and Bekah on your new B.S degrees! 

May 14, 2022

We are so proud of our new grads, Melissa Draves (B.S. Genetics) and Rebekah Muench (B.S. Agronomy). We will miss you in the lab but are happy to know that you will continue to do great things. Melissa will continue her education to earn her PhD program at University of Missouri, follow her on Twitter @melissa_draves. Bekah has a killer job as a Production Associate at Bayer Crop Science U.S., follow her on Twitter @rlmuench.  

Caitlin received a Sui Tong Chan Fung Fund Internship in the Department of Genetics, Development and Cell Biology! 

April 5, 2022

Big congrats to Caitlin Leigh Gonzales to receive this additional support from GDCB and the Genetics program for her summer research in our lab to study the genetic control of Arabidopsis hypocotyl growth. 

Caitlin and Jackson are LAS Dean's Award recipients for Summer and Fall 2022!

Mar 25, 2022

Big congrats to Caitlin Leigh Gonzales and Jackson Marshall for receiving LAS Dean's High Impact Undergraduate Research Awards for Summer 2022 and Fall 2022! We are very excited to have you join the group and support your research experiences. Caitlin will examine control of hypocotyl length using higher order genetic studies in Arabidopsis. Jackson will perform Genome Wide Association Studies to discover genetic drivers of lateral root formation in maize.

Linkan is now a PhD candidate!

Nov 3, 2021

Linkan successfully passed his prelim exam and is now a PhD candidate in the Interdepartmental Genetics and Genomics program here at at ISU. Congrats Linkan! One paper done, just a couple more to go :) 

Our NSF grant was awarded!

August 3, 2021

We are super grateful to the National Science Foundation and their support of our work on the regulation of Arabidopsis root cell differentiation via cell wall composition. This work will fund collaborative studies between our group and Dr. Olga Zabotina (BBMB). This funding will support outreach educational activities for preschool students in Ames during the school year. 

working model for GAUT10 in Arabdopsis root cell differentiation

Our ASPB BLOOME grant was awarded!

June 7, 2021

We are super grateful to the American Society for Plant Biologists and their support of our newly developed outreach activities through a 2021 BLOOME grant! PI Dr. Kelley and Co-PIs Dr. Renu Srivastava (GDCB) and Dr. Alexis Campbell (Science Bound director) will use this funding to provide hands-on educational activities for Science Bound students interested in learning about plant biology during the 2021-2022 school year. 

BLOOME image

Congrats to our graduates!

May 14, 2021

Congrats to our undergraduate researchers, Kendall Haefele (LAS, Honor's student & Dean's Awardee, Genetics major) and Ludvin Mejia (first-gen Biology major), for graduating in the Class of 2021! We applaud all your accomplishments and look forward to seeing your future success. It has been wonderful having you in the lab and we wish you all the best!

Root ubiquitinome preprint on BioRxiv

February 2, 2021

Quantitative proteomics reveals extensive lysine ubiquitination in the Arabidopsis root proteome and uncovers novel transcription factor stability states

View the Root ubiquitinome article

Kendall awarded an LAS Dean's High Impact Award for Spring 2021 

December 21, 2020

Kendall has been awarded an LAS Dean's High Impact Award to support her research in our lab during Spring 2021. She will continue her work on an auxin regulated protein that is required for auxin-mediated hypocotyl elongation in Arabidopsis.

Dami's new microPublication on myosins and sugar-dependent growth is out today!

July 10, 2020

Great job Dami!


We got a USDA NIFA grant to study auxin regulated root development in maize!

June 5, 2020

We are super excited to have been awarded a NIFA Plant Physiology Research award to support our work on auxin regulated root growth in maize. Justin Walley (PLPM) is Co-PI on this award and we will be collaborating with Nick Lauter, Katie Dehesh, and Lucia Strader for this project. Our lab has recently identified several novel maize root mutants which are affected in auxin signaling and/or transport. This award will support two PhD students and one undergraduate researcher for three years as they work on determining the molecular basis for these altered root phenotypes. Additionally, this award will support the field trials to test how reduced root architectures impact yield in corn.

Kendall is awarded a Summer Research Internship in Genetics

May 15, 2020

Kendall was awarded a Sui Tong Chan Fung Fund for the Promotion of Study and Research in Genetics Summer Undergraduate Internship for 2020! This internship will provide her with an opportunity for full-time hands-on research in the discipline of Genetics, her major. Due to COVID-19 she will work a modified schedule during the eight-week internship period and earn stipend of $3840; funds will be provided by a combination of funds from the Kelley lab and the departmental fund. 

Kendall is awarded a LAS High Impact Undergraduate Research Award

May 15, 2020

Kendall was awarded one of the Dean’s High Impact Undergraduate Research Awards to support her summer research in our lab! While this award was intended to support summer research, due to COVID-19 the award has been adjusted to support her during fall term. This award is for $1,200.00 and will require her to work for 100 hours during the fall semester. Her project will focus on characterizing a novel Arabidopsis mutant which has short hypocotyls and does not respond to auxin. Based on the functional annotation of this protein we hypothesize this protein regulates the abundance of particular auxin receptors in shoots. This project will increase a knowledge gap in basic research related to plant developmental biology. Plants provide food and fuel and thus it is important to identify genetic determinants of plant growth.

We got the cover of Proteomics!

September 5, 2019

Our recent collaboration with Justin Walley (PLPM) and Steve Briggs (UCSD) was published in the Sept issue of Proteomics (Vol 19, No 17). My mom, China Rose, created the beautiful cover art that was selected for this issue.