The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Please select the first letter of the last name you are looking for.

Madelaine Bartlett

Associate Professor

My lab studies the evolution of plant development. We are working towards uncovering the molecular mechanisms that control the development of plant form, and in understanding how these molecular pathways have changes over the course of evolution to generate morphological diversity.  One aspect of our work is studying the genes and gene networks that have important impacts on crop productivity.

Current Research

We study the genes that regulate how many stem cells a plant produces, which in turn affects fruit size and number, and crop yield. We are using cutting edge genome editing technology to reveal the functions of these genes in maize. In addition, we are studying the evolution of these genes across the flowering plants, working to reveal common regulatory principles that can be manipulated for directed crop improvement.

In addition, we study the genetics of flower development in the grasses. Flower architecture has been a critical determinant of breeding success in maize, and has hampered breeding efforts in crops like rice. We are working to understand the basic science underlying flower development in maize and other grasses, so that we can leverage that understanding for optimizing food crop architecture.

Learn more at

Academic Background

  • Postdoc, 2010-2013, Brigham Young University
  • PhD, 2010, University of California Berkeley
Henkhaus N, Bartlett ME§, Gang D, Grumet R, Haswell E, Jordon-Thaden I, Lorence A, Lyons E, Miller S, Murray S, Nelson A, Specht C, Tyler B, Wentworth T, Ackerly D, Baltensperger D, Benfey P, Birchler J, Chellamma S, Crowder R, Donoghue M, Dundore-Arias JP, Fletcher J, Gillespie K, Guralnick L, Hunter M, Kaeppler S, Kepinski S, Li F-W, Mackenzie S, McDade L, Min Y, Nemhauser J, Pearson B, Petracek P, Rogers K, Sakai A, Sickler D, Spady T, Taylor C, Wayne L, Wendroth O, Zapata F, and Stern D (2020). Plant Science Decadal Vision 2020-2030: Reimagining the Potential of Plants for a Healthy and Sustainable Future. Plant Direct. DOI: 10.1002/pld3.252
Man**, J, Gallagher, JP**, Bartlett, ME§ (2020). Structural variation in the LRR-RLK gene family drives receptor diversification. New Phytologist. DOI: 10.1111/nph.16455
Schrager-Lavelle, A, Klein, H, Fisher, A, Bartlett ME (2017). Grass Flowers: An Untapped Resource for Floral Evo-Devo. Journal of Systematics and Evolution. DOI: 10.1111/jse.12251
van Gisbergen, Peter AC, Shu-Zon Wu, Mingqin Chang, Kelli A. Pattavina, Madelaine E. Bartlett, and Magdalena Bezanilla. "An ancient Sec10–formin fusion provides insights into actin-mediated regulation of exocytosis." J Cell Biol (2018): jcb-201705084.
Bartlett, ME§ (2019). Looking back to look forward: protein–protein interactions and the evolution of development. New Phytologist. DOI: 10.1111/nph.16179 (Invited Tansley Insight)
Man, J** and Bartlett, ME§ (2019). Efficient assembly of large multiplex CRISPR/Cas9 guide arrays for maize genome editing. Bio-Protocol. DOI: 10.21769/bioprotoc.3223
Rodriguez-Leal1, D, Xu1, C, Kwon, C-T, Soyars, C, Demesa Arevalo, E, Man, J**, Lei, L, Lemmon, ZH, Jones, DS, Van Eck, J, Jackson, DP, Bartlett, ME§, Nimchuk, ZL, and Lippman, ZB (2019). Evolution of buffering in a genetic circuit controlling plant stem cell proliferation. Nature Genetics. 51:786–792. DOI: 10.1038/s41588-019-0389-8
Vofely, RV1, Gallagher, JP**1, Pisano, GD*, Bartlett, ME§, Braybrook, SA (2018). Of puzzles and pavements: a quantitative exploration of leaf epidermal cell shape. New Phytologist. DOI: 10.1101/361717.
Klein, HR**, Xiao, Y, Conklin, P, Govindarajulu, R, Kelly, J, Scanlon, M, Whipple, CJ, and Bartlett, ME§ (2018). Bulked-Segregant Analysis Coupled to Whole Genome Sequencing (BSA-Seq) for Rapid Gene Cloning in Maize. G3: Genes Genomes Genetics. DOI: 10.1101/357384
Abraham-Juarez MJ, Schrager-Lavelle A, Man J, Whipple CJ, Handakumbura P, Babbitt CC, Bartlett ME§ (2020). Evolutionary variation in MADS-box dimerization affects floral development and protein degradation dynamics. The Plant Cell. DOI: 10.1105/tpc.20.00300
Je, Byoung Il, Fang Xu, Qingyu Wu, Lei Liu, Robert Meeley, Joseph P. Gallagher, Leo Corcilius, Richard J. Payne, Madelaine E. Bartlett, and David Jackson. "The CLAVATA receptor FASCIATED EAR2 responds to distinct CLE peptides by signaling through two downstream effectors." Elife 7 (2018): e35673.
Rodriguez-Leal, D, Lemmon, ZH, Man, J, Bartlett, ME, Lippman, ZB (2017) Engineering quantitative trait variation for crop improvement by genome editing. Cell. DOI:10.1016/j.cell.2017.08.030
Contact Info

374 Morrill 4 South
639 N. Pleasant Street
Amherst, MA 01003-9292

(413) 545-2235