The Emery lab's research centers around growth regulating molecules that are known to act as hormones in plants. Some of our work focuses on how those hormones change growth and development in plants and the practical impacts that can result – like increasing seed yields of important crops. In addition, over the last several years, we have teamed up with other Trent labs and discovered that those same molecules exist in many other forms of life including: algae (Euglena), fungi (Ustilago), bacteria (methylotrophs), protists (Dictyostelium, Giardia), insects (many), mammals (dogs) and even human cell lines. It is a mystery why these non-plant systems contain plant hormones and our current work seeks to understand their role in communications among organisms.
Read some of our latest publications here, and see a full publication history below.
Molecules, Cells & Systems Research Symposium
The life sciences are a broad grouping of disciplines that study how organisms function. All organisms, whether unicellular (e.g., bacteria) or multicellular (e.g., humans), require fundamental building blocks. Trent University has a wealth of expertise in various disciplines within the life sciences including cell biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, microbiology, developmental biology, physiology, psychology, and neuroscience. To exploit this competitive advantage, the Molecules, Cells & Systems (MCS) Research Group brings together researchers from the Departments of Biology, Chemistry, Forensic Science, Kinesiology, and Psychology who work together to apply the Molecules to Systems Approach in research.
At the 1st Annual MCS Research Symposium, the Emery Lab brought home two best talk awards!
Congratulations to PhD Candidate Zeynab Azimychetabi for her achievement in being awarded the Mitacs Globalink Research Award (GRA). Zeynab will be travelling to Germany to conduct a research internship and advanced training program at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology. During her time in Europe, Zeynab will be working under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Sarah E. O'Connor, a globally recognized expert in the field of medicinal plants, and a recent recipient of the prestigious Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz-Preis for fundamental discoveries in plant natural product biosynthesis.
Read more about Zeynab here.
July 2022 - Three new students in the Sustainable Guyana Program conduct their research in the Emery Lab to better understand traditional medicinal plants! Read more about M.Sc. student, Malaika Persaud, research here, and Ph.D. student, Ewart Smith, here.
June 2022 - Vedanti Ghatwala, M.Sc. student in the Emery Lab won a prize for the best poster entitled: "Insights into the role of plant growth-regulating cytokinins in the protozoan parasite Giardia intestinalis" at the 'Annual Montreal Parasitology Symposium' - AMPS 2022 in Montreal.
April 2022 - Dr. Ainsely Lewis and Ph.D. student, Daniel Palberg joined the elite group of Trent Luminaries! Read here how their work on plant beneficial bacteria can help survive the next natural disaster!
April 2022 - Another paper from the Emery Lab was chosen as Editor's Choice Articles for its high quality and high amount of downloads. Find the article discussing The Hulks and the Deadpools of the Cytokinin Universe here.
March 2022 - Our recent review article on the role of phytohormones in plant response to metal stress has been recognized as a top-cited paper in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry!
March 2022 - In our research, Emery Lab uses mass spectrometers housed in Water Quality Centre, a world-class analytical facility at Trent University. Read the full story here.
March 2022 - Our recent article: "The Origins and Roles of Methylthiolated Cytokinins: Evidence From Among Life Kingdoms" published in Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology was selected for inclusion in Editor’s Pick 2021: Highlights in Cell Growth and Division! This collection highlights the best received spontaneous submissions of the past 2 years to the section, and brings high-quality research into the spotlight.
January 2022 - Emery Lab members, Dr. Ainsely Lewis and Ph.D. student, Daniel Palberg discussed our Lab's contribution to the research on food security in Canadian agriculture in the interview for Ontario Genomics. Watch the video here and read more about their research here.
January, 2022 - Big congratulations to Megan Aoki, PhD student in the Emery Lab for winning the Biomolecules 2021 Best Video Abstract Award! Read Megan's paper and watch the video here.
June, 2021 - Our M.Sc. student, Hai Nguyen, received the CSPB-SCBV Award for an outstanding oral presentation at the On-Line Annual Meeting of The Canadian Society of Plant Biologists! Hai was presenting his research on the role of phytohormones in response of Euglena gracilis to heavy metal exposure. Read more about Hai's research here.
May, 2021 -Emery Lab Ph.D. student, Mark Seegobin, featured on Trent University website! Read about Mark's work on antiviral potential for cytokinins here.
March, 2021 - B.Sc. student in the Emery Lab, Vedanti Ghatwala, presented her work at the 49th SOUSCC virtual meeting, organized by McMaster University. Read about Vedanti research on Giardia, a causative agent of beaver fever here.
February, 2021 - M.Sc. student in the Emery Lab, Hai Nguyen, recognized on Author Profiles: Plant Direct website as a first co-author of the recent paper describing roles of CKX genes in soybean yield formation! Read Hai's profile here.
January, 2021 - Huge congrats to Dr. Erin Morrison and Prof. Neil Emery for winning a 2021 Best Viticulture Paper award! Read their work on grapevine phytohormone metabolism published in American Journal of Enology and Viticulture here and more on the story here and here!
December, 2020 - Megan Aoki’s Ph.D. research on cytokinins in non-plant organisms shows promise in medicine and agriculture. Read more here.
November, 2020 - Two of our graduate students, Megan Aoki and Daniel Palberg are the recipients of the prestigious Ontario Graduate Scholarship program. Congratulations, Megan and Daniel! Read more about Megan's exciting research here.
July, 2020 - Our article "Cytokinin Production by the Rice Blast Fungus Is a Pivotal Requirement for Full Virulence" is among the top 10% most cited PLOS Pathogens papers published in 2016!
CITED 46 TIMES as of July 2020
July, 2020 - Huge congrats to our student, Julia Hubert for the amazing presentation she gave at the 48th Southern Ontario Undergraduate Virtual Chemistry Conference in Toronto! You can watch it here if you want to learn what cytokinins are doing in human parasite, Giardia intestinalis!
May, 2020 - "Can we grow plants on Mars?" Our student, Aaron Dain has the answer. Read his story on RAOG blog.
April, 2020 - "Science is not cancelled! There is so MUSH-room for learning!" Read about our MSc student, Nourhene Grich research project on RAOG website.
February, 2020 - The largest published survey of cytokinin production by insects is out there for you to read! Congratulations, Peter Andreas!
December, 2019 - "Plants, too, need support in times of stress". Read how a new bio-fertilizer project can be the answer.
December, 2019 - Emery Lab is one of the eight successful research teams to be funded across Ontario through a $2M investment by the Agricultural Adaptation Council and Ontario Genomics (through Genome Canada). Read the summary of our project: 'Metabolomic-based strain selection of microbial bioinoculants which alleviate impacts of drought stress in crop production' here.
September, 2019 - Alex Kuhne, MSc student in the Emery Lab, leads delegation at International Arctic Forum.
July, 2019 - Dr. Anna Kisiala featured in the CSPB Bulletin - read more (page 10)
May, 2019 - PhD student, Megan Aoki, and her groundbreaking research featured at Trent University News and Events platform.
May, 2019 - Our PhD student, Megan Aoki, talks all about cytokinins in the interview for Random Acts of Green.
May, 2019 - Prof. Neil Emery is a partner in the research aimed at advancing clean-water technology to make Canada’s mining industry more sustainable. The project funded by Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) will develop a sustainable green biofiltration technology for mineral extraction and mining waste waters.
April, 2019 - Our PhD student, Mark Seegobin became a recipient of a prestigious Alexander Graham Bell NSERC CGS D scholarship to support his research on cytokinin function in mammalian systems.
March, 2019 - Alex Kuhne, MSc student in Environmental & Life Sciences Graduate Program at Trent University presented her research on recycling algae cultures at the first Trent Graduate Students in Science (TGSS) symposium.
February, 2019 - There is more to the cytokinin story than you could ever imagine! Our PhD student, Megan Aoki, research shows cytokinins can be actively metabolized in human cell cultures - read Megan's paper in FASEB Bioadvances.
January, 2019 - Learn about our MSc student Alex Kuhne innovative research on the future of food.
January, 2019 - Check out the Emery Lab coverage from the ACPD 2018 Prague conference in New Phytologist!
July, 2018 - Breaking news! - Our PhD student, Mark Seegobin discovered presence of a range of "plant" hormones cytokinins in mammalian tissues! Check the interview with Mark and read his paper recently published in The FASEB Journal.
June 2018 - "A virulent and resistant strain of fungus, called “Corn Smut Disease” is currently threatening our corn stalks." - Ibraheem Alimi, MSc student, co-supervised by Prof. Neil Emery and Prof. Barry Saville, explains the importance of his research in the interview for Random Acts of Green.
April, 2017 - To branch or not to branch? Shade, ABA and auxin - Dr. Thien Nguyen and Prof. Neil Emery wrote an insight paper that accompanies the groundbreaking research on ABA as the earliest upstream inhibitor of apical dominance, recently published in Journal of Experimental Botany.
December, 2016 - Research at Trent in Prof. Neil Emery’s lab highlighted in exhibition titled “Pulses: The Ideal Partner” on loan from the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum in partnership with Pulse Canada (Trent University News & Events)
Early-stage responses to Plasmodiophora brassicae at the transcriptome and metabolome levels in clubroot resistant and susceptible oilseed Brassica napus. Molecular Omics, 2022.
A survey of Methylobacterium species and strains reveals widespread production and varying profiles of cytokinin phytohormones. BMC Microbiology, 2022.
Phytohormone dynamics impact fatty acid and oil accumulation during soybean seed maturation. Seed Science Research, 2021.
Trichoderma synthesizes cytokinins and alters cytokinin dynamics of inoculated Arabidopsis seedlings. Journal of Plant Growth Regulation, 2021.
Beyond transport: cytokinin ribosides are translocated and active in regulating the development and environmental responses of plants. Planta, 2021.
Cytokinins are pervasive among common in vitro culture media: An analysis of their forms, concentrations and potential sources. Journal of Biotechnology, 2021.
Isopentenyltransferases as master regulators of crop performance: their function, manipulation, and genetic potential for stress adaptation and yield improvement. Plant Biotechnology Journal, 2021.
Secondary and tertiary budbreak release is enhanced by extended dormancy chilling in 'Shiraz' grapevines. Journal of Grapevine Research, 2021.
The Hulks and the Deadpools of the Cytokinin Universe: A Dual Strategy for Cytokinin Production, Translocation, and Signal Transduction. MDPI Biomolecules, 2021.
The soybean (Glycine max L.) cytokinin oxidase/dehydrogenase multigene family; Identification of natural variations for altered cytokinin content and seed yield. Plant Direct, 2021
Phytohormonal Roles in Plant Responses to Heavy Metal Stress—Implications for Using Macrophytes in Phytoremediation of Aquatic Ecosystems. Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry, 2021.
The Origins and Roles of Methylthiolated Cytokinins: Evidence from Among Life Kingdoms. Frontiers in Cell & Developmental Biology, 2020.
The roles of phytohormones in metal stress regulation in microalgae. Journal of Applied Phycology, 2020.
Cytokinin activity during early kernel development corresponds positively with yield potential and later stage ABA accumulation in field-grown wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Planta, 2020.
Cytokinins in Dictyostelia – A unique model for studying the functions of signaling agents from species to kingdoms. Frontiers in Cell & Developmental Biology, 2020.
Soil Temperature Prior to Veraison Alters Grapevine Carbon Partitioning, Xylem Sap Hormones, and Fruit Set. American Journal of Enology & Viticulture, 2020.
The Role of Phytohormones in Enhancing Metal Remediation Capacity of Algae. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination & Toxicology, 2020.
Role and Regulation of Cytokinins in Plant Response to Drought Stress. MDPI Plants, 2020.
Cytokinins Are Abundant and Widespread Among Insect Species. MDPI Plants, 2020.
Cytokinin Detection during the Dictyostelium discoideum Life Cycle: Profiles Are Dynamic and Affect Cell Growth and Spore Germination. MDPI Biomolecules, 2019.
Quantification of Cytokinins using High-Resolution Accurate-Mass Orbitrap Mass Spectrometry and Parallel Reaction Monitoring (PRM). Analytical Chemistry, 2019.
Elevated carbon dioxide decreases the adverse effects of higher temperature and drought stress by mitigating oxidative stress and improving water status in Arabidopsis thaliana. Planta, 2019.
Endosymbiotic Methylobacterium oryzae mitigates the impact of limited water availability in lentil (Lens culinaris Medik.) by increasing plant cytokinin levels. Environmental & Experimental Botany, 2019.
A stimulatory role for cytokinin in the arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis of pea. Frontiers in Plant Sciences, 2019.
Phytohormone metabolism in human cells: Cytokinins are taken up and interconverted in HeLa cell culture. FASEB BioAdvances, 2019.
Setting-up a fast and reliable cytokinin biosensor based on a plant histidine kinase receptor expressed in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Journal of Biotechnology, 2019.
Chelator production by Deschampsia cespitosa (L.) Beauv. in adaptive Ni/Cu hyper-tolerance derived from fields at Sudbury region and lab assessment. Botany, 2018.
Canis familiaris tissues are characterized by different profiles of cytokinins typical of the tRNA degradation pathway. The FASEB Journal, 2018.
Phytohormone profiling reveals fungal signatures and strong manipulation of infection cycle in the Gymnosporangium juniper-virginianae dual-host plant system. Botany, 2017.
DELLA1-gibberellin signaling regulates cytokinin-dependent symbiotic nodulation. Plant Physiology, 2017.
Analysis of brassinosteroids in soybean seeds and leaves by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Open Plant Science Journal, 2017.
Yield associated traits correlate with cytokinin profiles in developing pods and seeds of field-grown soybean
cultivars. Field Crops Research, 2017.
Dynamics and origin of cytokinins involved in plant manipulation by a leaf-mining insect. Insect Science, 2017.
Is ABA the earliest upstream inhibitor of apical dominance?
Journal of Experimental Botany, 2017.
Fungal derived cytokinins are necessary for normal Ustilago maydis infection of corn. Plant Pathology, 2017.
Nod factor supply under water stress conditions modulates cytokinin biosynthesis and enhances nodule formation and N nutrition in soybean. Plant Signaling & Behavior 2016.
A laser dissection-RNAseq analysis highlights the activation of cytokinin pathways by Nod factors in the Medicago truncatula root epidermis. Plant Physiology, 2016.
Soybean seed development: fatty acid and phytohormone metabolism and their interactions. Current Genomics, 2016.
Cytokinin production by the rice blast fungus is a pivotal requirement for full virulence. PLoS Pathogens, 2016.
We are developing a New Bio-fertilizer for Farmers!
June, 2020 - Farmtario
July, 2016 - BlackburnNews.com
May, 2016 - AgInnovation Ontario
May, 2016 -Toronto Star
February, 2016 - Ontario Grain Farmer