Plant metabolic regulation and engineering

Background and Training

PhD: California Institute of Technology

Postdoctoral training: The Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research

Research Summary

The NSF and The Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment logos under a blotchy orange background.

Along with campus colleagues, I am a steward of a recently acquired plant cell culture collection that is a discovery platform for new molecules with industrial, pharmaceutical, and agricultural applications. Our efforts are supported by the National Science Foundation and the UMass Amherst Center for Food, Agriculture and the Environment. This collection is maintained and distributed to the research community by the Institute for Applied Life Sciences Cell Culture core facility.

The Advance Program logo. On the side, it states: "Collaboration and Equity. UMass Amherst ADVANCE Program. The National Science Foundation has awarded a coveted ADVANCE Institutional Transformation grant to the University of Massachusetts Amherst to develop systemic and sustainable approaches to advance gender equity (including dynamics at the intersection of race and gender) and promote gender equity in ways that involve all faculty."

I am collaborating with campus colleagues on the UMass Amherst ADVANCE IT project funded by the National Science Foundation to develop systemic and sustainable approaches to advance gender equity in ways that involve all faculty on campus. ASBMBToday Interview

I am a member of the leadership team funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Inclusive Excellence Program to increase institutional capacity for inclusion of all science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) majors.


  • Boundy-Mills, K., McCluskey, K., Elia, P., Glaeser, J., Lindner, D. L., Nobles Jr., D. R., Normanly, J., Ochoa-Corona, F. M., Scott, J. A., Ward, T. J., Webb, K. M., Webster, K., Wertz, J. E., Preserving Microbe Collections Sparks Future Discoveries, Journal of Applied Microbiology ISSN 1364-5072, doi:10.1111/jam.14525 December (2019).
  • Misra, J., Smith-Doerr, L., Dasgupta, N., Weaver, G., and Normanly, J., Collaboration and Gender Equity among Academic Scientists, in Gender and STEM: Understanding Segregation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, Maria Charles and Sarah Thébaud (Eds.) Pages: 284, October 2018 ISBN 978-3-03897-147-4 (Pbk); ISBN 978-3-03897-148-1 (PDF) This book is a printed edition of the Special Issue Gender and STEM: Understanding Segregation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics that was published in Social Sciences): Joya Misra, Laurel Smith-Doerr, Nilanjana Dasgupta, Gabriela Weaver, and Jennifer Normanly, Collaboration and Gender Equity among Academic Scientists, Soc. Sci. 6, 25; doi:10.3390/socsci6010025 (2017).
  • Pieck, M., Yuan, Y., Godfrey, J*., Fisher, C.*, Zolj, S., Vaughan, D.*, Thomas, N.*, Wu, C.*, Ramos, J.*, Lee, N., Normanly, J., Celenza, J., Auxin and Tryptophan Homeostasis Are Facilitated by the ISS1/VAS1 Aromatic Aminotransferase in Arabidopsis Genetics 201:185–199, September 2015,115.180356; Early online July 10, 2015,doi:10.1534/genetics.115.180356.
  • Patil, R. A., Lenka, S. K., Normanly, J., Walker, E. L., Roberts, S. C. Methyl jasmonate represses growth and affects cell cycle progression in cultured Taxus cells, Plant Cell Rep. (2014) Sep;33(9):1479-92. doi: 10.1007/s00299-014-1632-5. Epub 2014 May 16. [Pubmed]
  • Normanly, J., (ed.), High-Throughput Phenotyping in Plants: Methods and Protocols, Methods in Molecular Biology, vol 918, (2012) Springer, New York, DOI 10.1007/978-1-61779-995-2
  • Yousef M. Abu-Zaitoon, Heather M. Nonhebel, Karina Bennett and Jennifer Normanly, A large increase in IAA during development of rice grains correlates with expression of tryptophan aminotransferase OsTAR1 and two grain-specific YUCCAs. Physiologia Plantarum (2012) 146, 487-499 and doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3054.2012.01649.x  [Pubmed]
  • Lenka, S. K., Boutaoui, N., Paulose, B., Vongpaseuth, K., Normanly, J., Roberts, S. C., Walker, E. Identification and expression analysis of methyl jasmonate responsive ESTs in paclitaxel producing Taxus cuspidata suspension culture cells, BMC Genomics (2012) 13:148 [Pubmed]
  • Patil, R. A., Kolewe, M. E., Normanly, J., Walker, E. L., Roberts, S. C. Contribution of taxane biosynthetic pathway gene expression to observed variability in paclitaxel accumulation in Taxus suspension cultures, Biotechnology Journal (2012) 7, 418–427 [Pubmed]
  • Nonhebel, H. M., Yuan, Y., Al-Amier, H., Pieck, M., Akor, E., Ahamed, A., Cohen, J.D., Celenza, J., Normanly, J., Redirection of Trp metabolism in tobacco by ectopic expression of an Arabidopsis indolic glucosinolate biosynthetic gene, Phytochemistry 72:37-48 (2011) [Pubmed]
  • Barkawi, L.S., Tam, Y.-Y., Tillman, J. A., Normanly, J., Cohen, J. D., A High Throughput Method for the Quantitative Analysis of Auxins, Nature Protocols 5: 1609-1618 (2010) [Pubmed]
  • Prusty Rao, R., Hunter, A., Kashpur, O., Normanly, J. Aberrant synthesis of indole-3-acetic acid in Saccharomyces cerevisiae triggers morphogenic transition, a virulence trait of dimorphic pathogenic fungi, Genetics 185: 211-220 (2010). [Pubmed] 
  • Normanly, J. Approaching cellular and molecular resolution of auxin biosynthesis and metabolism in Cold Spring Harbor Lab Perspectives: Auxin Signaling, eds. M. Estelle, D. Weijers, K. Ljung, O. Leyser, doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a001594 (2009).
  • Kramer, E.M., Lewandowski, M., Beri, S., Bernard, J., Borkowski, M. Burchfield, L. A., Mathisen, B., Normanly, J. Auxin gradients are associated with polarity changes in trees, Science 320:1610 (2008). [Pubmed]
  • Barkawi, L., Tam, Y., Tillman, J., Calio, J., Al-Amier, H., Emerick, M., Normanly, J., Cohen, J., A high-throughput method for the quantitative analysis of indole-3-acetic acid and other auxins from plant tissue, Analytical Biochemistry 372: 177-188 (2008). [Pubmed] 
  • Calio, J., Tam, Y.Y., and Normanly, J. Auxin Biology and Biosynthesis in Recent Advances in Phytochemistry: Integrative Plant Biochemistry, ed, J. Romeo, Elsevier, vol 40: 287-305 (2006).
  • Ljung,K.,  Hull, A., Celenza, J., Yamada, M., Estelle, M., Normanly, J., and Sandberg, G. Sites and regulation of auxin biosynthesis in Arabidopsis roots.Plant Cell, 17:1090-1140 (2005). [Pubmed]
  • Celenza, J.L., Quiel, J.A., Smolen, G.A., Merrikh, H., Silvestro, A., Normanly, J., and  Bender J. The Arabidopsis ATR1 Myb transcription factor controls indolic glucosinolate homeostasis.Plant Physiology, 137:253-262 (2005)  [Pubmed]
  • Normanly, J, Sovin, JP, and Cohen, JD Auxin Metabolism in Plant Hormones: Biosynthesis, Signal Transduction, Action! 3rd edition. P.J. Davies, ed. Kluwer Academic Publishers: Dordrecht, The Netherlands. pp 36-62 (2004)
  • Zhao, Y., Hull, A. K., Gupta, N., Goss, K. A., Alonso, J., Ecker, J. R., Normanly, J., Chory, J., and Celenza, J. L. Trp-dependent auxin biosynthesis in Arabidopsis: involvement of cytochrome P450s CYP79B2 and CYP79B3. Genes and Development 16:3100-3112 (2002). [Pubmed]
  • Tam, Y. Y., and Normanly, J. Overexpression of a bacterial indole-3-acetyl-L-aspartic acid hydrolase in Arabidopsis thaliana Physiologia Plantarum 115:513-522 (2002). [Pubmed]