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scanning electron microscopy of soybean leaf surface showing epicuticular waxes

The MacIntosh Lab

Welcome to the MacIntosh Lab @ Iowa State University. Our lab works on a variety of things, mostly centered around the two big questions described below (look for more details in Projects and Publications). Gustavo also dedicates a significant effort to increase equity and inclusion in STEM (see EDI page).

How do eukaryotic cells recycle ribosomes?

We want to know how cells transport ribosomes to the vacuole or lysosome, and the ribonucleases and other enzymes associated with the RNA salvage pathway.

RNA salvage pathway


What are the molecular bases of compatible and incompatible interactions between plants and insects?

We try to understand what are the mechanisms that plants (mainly soybean) use as defense against aphids, and the strategies used by aphids to avoid these defenses.

Response to aphid feeding



We support the Changing Cultures and Climate NAASC/ASPB Initiative

Changing CUltures and Climate logo

Latest Publications

Cover of the Plant Direct journal showing a light bulb with a plant seedling growing inside

Removing systemic barriers to equity, diversity, and inclusion: Report of the 2019 Plant Science Research Network workshop “Inclusivity in the Plant Sciences”

Henkhaus et al. 2022

Plant Direct 6( 8), e432.

FLuorescent microscopy image of lamp1 mutant larvae fat bodies stained with Lysotracker Red

Lamp1 mediates lipid transport, but is dispensable for autophagy in Drosophila

Chaudhry et al 2022

Autophagy, DOI: 10.1080/15548627.2022.2038999

mapping of Rag1 gene candidate

Interaction between Rag genes results in a unique synergistic transcriptional response that enhances soybean resistance to soybean aphids

Natukunda et al 2021

BMC Genomics 22, 887 (2021)

Lack of representation in plant sciences

Equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts in professional societies: intention vs. reaction

Madzima and MacIntosh 2021

The Plant Cell, koab186

Advancing outreach in plant science through Inclusion, Innovation and Integration

Broadening the impact of plant science through innovative, integrative, and inclusive outreach

Friesner et al 2021

Plant Direct 2021; 5:e00316

TOR regulation of RNA salvage


TOR mediates the autophagy response to altered nucleotide homeostasis in an RNase mutant

Kazibwe et al 2020

Journal of Experimental Botany, Volume 71, Issue 22, 31


Meet the candidates for President-elect of ASPB (2021)

Gustavo's presentation for the ASPB meet the candidates event


Plantae Present Seminar 2020

Gustavo's presentation for the Plantae Present series organized by ASPB



  • Prescott participated in the new BBMB summer program. See highlights in this article from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. (August 2022)
  • Prescott Jeckel, in lab coat, a junior in the new Biochemistry Summer Research Program (BSRP) sponsored by the Roy J. Carver Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology, looks over plates with Arabidopsis seedlings with his mentor, Gustavo MacIntosh
  • Gustavo was featured in the latest Link issue (magazine of the LAS College). See the note here. (April 2022)
  • Welcome Anna Schwake, our new undergraduate research assistant, working to characterize Drosophila lysosomal proteins (April 2022)
  • Norin's paper on Drosophila Lamp1 is now out in Autophagy! (March 2022)
  • Prescott received the prestigious Linder Scholarship. Congratulations! (February 2022)
  • Gustavo has been honored with a LAS Dean's Professorship.
photo of the three new LAS Dean's professors
  • The last paper of Martha Natukunda's thesis was accepted in BMC Genomics (December 2021)
  • Martha Natukunda accepted an Assistant Professor position in the Biology department at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, SD (August 2021)
  • Thelma Madzima and Gustavo's letter on the role of professional societies in EDI efforts is out in Plant Cell (July 2021)
  • ASPB election results are out! Gustavo will be the incoming President-elect of the society, starting in October (July 2021)
  • Welcome Prescott Jeckel, our new undergraduate research assistant, working to characterize vacuolar phosphatases (June 2021)
  • Welcome Lindsay Jackson, Ames High School science teacher, who will be our summer intern as part of the RET program (June 2021)
  • Patricia was awarded a SURF Fellowship from ASPB. Congratulations! Read more about it here (June 2021).

picture of ASPB SURF awardees

  • ISU News service wrote a press release ("A new guide for communicating plant science") on our outreach paper (April 2021)
  • The white paper "Broadening the impact of plant science through innovative, integrative, and inclusive outreach" is now in Plant Direct. This paper is the result of a fantastic workshop organized by NAASC (April 2021).
  • Norin's paper on Drosophila Lamp1 is now in bioRxiv (January 2021)
  • Patricia Gallardo (Ag Biochem, junior) was awarded the Linder Undergraduate Research Scholarship to continue her work on aphid-soybean interactions (Jan 2021)
  • Zach paper on the role of TOR in the regulation of RNA salvage and nucleotide homeostasis is now in print in JXB (December 2020)
  • Gustavo was elected to the Board of Directors of the American Society for Plant Biologists (October 2020)