- B.S., 1972, Kansas State University, General Physical Sciences.
- M.S., 1979, Kansas State University, Biology.
- Ph.D., 1984, University of Georgia, Botany.
- Postdoctoral research: University of Georgia, University of Michigan.
Joined the department in 1988.
College Station, TX 77843-3258
|Plant Molecular Systematics
The main focus of research in my lab is the use of molecular characters to increase our understanding of phylogenetic relationships of green algae and land plants. We are currently using both structural characteristics and gene sequences from chloroplast genomes as characters in phylogenetic analyses. The placement of members of the group of green algae known as the charophytes closest to the land plant lineage has been corroborated by comparisons of chloroplast genome structures and DNA sequences of genes encoding the large subunit of ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase (rbcL), and the rRNA small subunit.
The most recent project in my lab is a collaboration with Dr. Mary Rumpho, Horticulture, on photosynthetic marine slugs (Elysia chlorotica). These slugs consume a marine alga, Vancheria litoreq and sequester the algal chloroplasts in the digestive epithelium. Elysia is then able to subsist in culture exclusively by photoheterotrophic CO2 fixation for eight months. This is a very unusual symbiosis and the factors involved in maintaining chloroplast function in the slugs for at least eight months are unknown. We are currently characterizing the Vancheria chloroplast genome to determine if it contains genes not found in other chloroplast genomes.
- Mujer, C.V., D.L. Andrews, J.R. Manhart, S.K. Pierce, and M.E. Rumpho. 1996. Chloroplast genes are expressed during intracellular symbiotic association of Vaucheria litorea plastids with the sea slug Elysia Chlorotica. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 93: 12333-12338.
- Manhart, J.R. 1995. Chloroplast 16S rDNA sequences and phylogenetic relationships of fern allies and ferns. Am. Fern. J. 85: 182-192.
- Manhart, J.R., G.A. Fryxell, M.C. Villas, and L.Y. Segura. 1995. Pseudo-nitzschia pungeus and P. multiseries (Bacillariophyceae): nuclear rDNA's and species differences. J. Phycol. 31:421-427.
- Manhart, J.R. 1994. Phylogenetic analysis of green plant rbcL sequences. Molec. Phylo. and Evol. 3: 114-127.