Wayne Versaw


Fax: 979-845-2891

Curriculum Vitae

3258 TAMU
Biological Sciences Building East
Room 202B

Biological Sciences Building East
Room 204

Joined the Department in 2003

  • B..S., 1987, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Food Science and Technology.
  • M.S., 1990, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Biochemistry.
  • Ph.D. 1995, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Biomolecular Chemistry.
  • Postdoctoral research: Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation.


Faculty of Molecular and Environmental Plant Sciences

Transport and Cellular Compartmentalization

Compartmentalization of metabolic pathways and other cellular functions is a hallmark of eukaryotic cells. This feature is extreme in plants due to the presence of organelles not found in most other eukaryotes – plastids. Plastids are a diverse group of interrelated organelles that perform a wide range of metabolic functions including photosynthesis, nitrogen and sulfur assimilation and the synthesis of amino acids, starch and fatty acids. These functions are coordinated with metabolic processes in the cytosol through dynamic exchange of metabolites and ions across the plastid inner envelope membrane.

My lab is studying phosphate (Pi) transport processes that link the metabolic pathways in the plastid and cytosol. The concentrations of Pi in the cytosol and plastid stroma influence photosynthesis and the partitioning and storage of fixed carbon. Transporters involved in the movement of Pi across the plastid inner membrane include members of the pPT, PHT2 and PHT4 families. We are using genetics, cell biology, biochemistry and molecular physiology to investigate the function and physiological roles of these transporters. Recent findings suggest that some members of the PHT4 family are targeted to chloroplasts, whereas others function in heterotrophic plastids and one resides in the Golgi apparatus.

  1. Zhang, S, Daniels, DA, Ivanov, S, Jurgensen, L, Müller, LM, Versaw, WK et al.. A genetically encoded biosensor reveals spatiotemporal variation in cellular phosphate content in Brachypodium distachyon mycorrhizal roots. New Phytol. 2022;234 (5):1817-1831. doi: 10.1111/nph.18081. PubMed PMID:35274313 PubMed Central PMC9790424.
  2. Sahu, A, Banerjee, S, Raju, AS, Chiou, TJ, Garcia, LR, Versaw, WK et al.. Spatial Profiles of Phosphate in Roots Indicate Developmental Control of Uptake, Recycling, and Sequestration. Plant Physiol. 2020;184 (4):2064-2077. doi: 10.1104/pp.20.01008. PubMed PMID:32999006 PubMed Central PMC7723077.
  3. Voon, CP, Guan, X, Sun, Y, Sahu, A, Chan, MN, Gardeström, P et al.. ATP compartmentation in plastids and cytosol of Arabidopsis thaliana revealed by fluorescent protein sensing. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018;115 (45):E10778-E10787. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1711497115. PubMed PMID:30352850 PubMed Central PMC6233094.
  4. Zhang, W, Lo, IMC, Hu, L, Voon, CP, Lim, BL, Versaw, WK et al.. Environmental Risks of Nano Zerovalent Iron for Arsenate Remediation: Impacts on Cytosolic Levels of Inorganic Phosphate and MgATP2- in Arabidopsis thaliana. Environ Sci Technol. 2018;52 (7):4385-4392. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.7b06697. PubMed PMID:29554421 .
  5. Chiou, TJ, Versaw, WK, Fujiwara, T. Editorial overview: Cell signaling and gene regulation: nutrient sensing, signaling, and transport. Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2017;39 :iii-v. doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2017.08.007. PubMed PMID:28866272 .
  6. Versaw, WK, Garcia, LR. Intracellular transport and compartmentation of phosphate in plants. Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2017;39 :25-30. doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2017.04.015. PubMed PMID:28570954 .
  7. Banerjee, S, Garcia, LR, Versaw, WK. Quantitative Imaging of FRET-Based Biosensors for Cell- and Organelle-Specific Analyses in Plants. Microsc Microanal. 2016;22 (2):300-10. doi: 10.1017/S143192761600012X. PubMed PMID:26879593 .
  8. Banerjee, S, Versaw, WK, Garcia, LR. Imaging Cellular Inorganic Phosphate in Caenorhabditis elegans Using a Genetically Encoded FRET-Based Biosensor. PLoS One. 2015;10 (10):e0141128. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0141128. PubMed PMID:26484766 PubMed Central PMC4615621.
  9. Karlsson, PM, Herdean, A, Adolfsson, L, Beebo, A, Nziengui, H, Irigoyen, S et al.. The Arabidopsis thylakoid transporter PHT4;1 influences phosphate availability for ATP synthesis and plant growth. Plant J. 2015;84 (1):99-110. doi: 10.1111/tpj.12962. PubMed PMID:26255788 .
  10. Mukherjee, P, Banerjee, S, Wheeler, A, Ratliff, LA, Irigoyen, S, Garcia, LR et al.. Live imaging of inorganic phosphate in plants with cellular and subcellular resolution. Plant Physiol. 2015;167 (3):628-38. doi: 10.1104/pp.114.254003. PubMed PMID:25624397 PubMed Central PMC4348774.
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