• Cummins, Alexander J, CJ Siler, JM Olson, A. Kaur, A.K. Hamdani, L.K. Olson, B.D. Dilkes & L.E. Sieburth (2023). A cryptic natural variant allele of BYPASS2 suppresses the bypass1 mutant phenotype. Plant Physiology. Vol. 192, 1016-1027. Published, 03/11/2023.
  • Manavella, P.A. & Herz, M.A.G., Kornblihtt, A.R., Sorenson, R., Sieburth, L.E., et al (2022). Beyond transcription: compelling open questions in plant RNA biology. The Plant Cell. Published, 12/2022.
  • Thanin Chantarachot & Reed S. Sorenson, Maureen Hummel, Haiyan Ke, Alek T. Kettenburg, Daniel Chen, Karen Aiyetiwa, Katayoon Dehesh, Thomas Eulgem, Leslie E. Sieburth, Julia Bailey-Serres. (2020). DHH1/DDX6-like RNA helicases maintain ephemeral half-lives of stress-response mRNAs associated with innate immunity and growth inhibition. Nature Plants. Published, 02/2020.
  • Sieburth, L.E. & Vincent, J.N. (2018). Beyond transcription factors: roles of mRNA decay in regulating gene expression in plants. F100Res. Published, 12/2018.
  • Sorenson, R.S & Deshotel, M.J., Johnson, K., Adler, F.R., and Sieburth, L.E. (2018). Arabidopsis mRNA decay landscape arises from specialized RNA decay substrates, decapping-mediated feedback, and redundancy. Proceedings of National Academy USA. Published, 01/2018.
  • Lee, D.H., Parrott, D.L., Adhikari, E., Fraser, N., and Sieburth, L.E. The mobile bypass Signal Arrests Shoot Growth by disrupting SAM Maintenance, Cytokinin Signaling, and WUS Expression. 2016. Plant Physiology, 171: 2178-2190. Published, 05/12/2016.
  • Carlos Perea-Resa, Cristian Carrasco-López1, Rafael Catalá, Veronika Turečková, Ondrej Novak, Weiping Zhang, Leslie Sieburth, José Manuel Jiménez-Gómez and Julio Salinas. 2016. The Lsm1-7 Complex Controls Plant Adaptation To Adverse Environmental Conditions By Promoting Selective mRNA Decapping. Plant Cell. 28: 505 – 520. Published, 01/13/2016.
  • Roux, M.E., Rasmussen, M.W., , Palma, K., Lolle, S., Regué, AM., Bethke, G., Glazebrook, J., Zhang, W., Sieburth, L, Larsen, M.R., Mundy, J., and Petersen, M. 2015. The mRNA decay factor PAT1 functions in a pathway including MAP kinase 4 and immune receptor SUMM2. EMBO J. 34: 593-608. Published, 06/2015.
  • Adhikari, E., Lee, D.-K., Giavalisco, P., and Sieburth, L.E. 2013. Long-distance signaling in bypass1 mutants: bioassay development reveals the bps signal to be a metabolite. Molecular Plant. 6 (1): 164-173. Published, 06/2013.
  • Lee, D-K, and Sieburth, L.E. 2012. Article Addendum: The bps signal: Embryonic arrest from an auxin-independent mechanism in bypass triple mutants. Plant Signaling & Behavior. 7:698-700. Published, 06/2012.
  • Zhang, W., Murphy, C., Sieburth, L. E. 2010. Conserved RNaseII domain protein functions in cytoplasmic mRNA decay and suppresses Arabidopsis decapping mutant phenotypes. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 107: 1598. Published, 09/2011.
  • Van Norman, J.M., Murphy, C. Sieburth, L.E. 2011. BYPASS1: synthesis of the mobile root-derived signal requires active root growth and arrests early leaf development. BMC Plant Biol. 11:28. Published, 02/2011.
  • Sieburth, L.E., and Lee, D.K. 2010. BYPASS1: How a Tiny Mutant Tells a Big Story about Root-to-shoot Signaling. J. Integrative Plant Biol. 52:77-85. Published, 01/2010.

Research Statement

We use Arabidopsis as our model system, and a decade ago we carried out screens to identify mutants with defects in patterning of the leaf vascular system.  This screen yielded a rich assortment of mutants, and resulted in two major funded projects in my lab.  One project centers around the bypass1 (bps1) mutant, whose characterization led us to identify a root-to-shoot signaling pathway that appears to involve a novel signaling molecule with properties resembling a plant hormone.  We are currently working to identify the signaling molecule, its role in shoot development, and to characterize the cell biology of BPS1 proteins.   The other project arose from characterization of varicose (vcs) and trident (tdt) mutants, which have defects in mRNA decapping components.  Decapping removes the protective 7-methyl guanine nucleotide attached by a 5’-5’ triphosphate linkage (the cap) from mRNAs, which initiates 5’-to-3’ decay.  Traditionally the major model for mRNA decay, and especially decapping, has been yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae).  However, the decapping complex of both plants and animals contain a large scaffold (VCS) that is missing from yeast, and this plant/animal complex also carries out additional miRNA-related functions.   Our contributions to this field include the first demonstration that general cytoplasmic mRNA decay pathways have substrate specificity, elucidating roles for the decapping complex in miRNA directed translational regulation,  and identification of a novel cytoplasmic mRNA decay pathway that is conserved in plants and animals (but again missing in yeast).

Research Keywords

  • metabolomics
  • Water relations in plants
  • RNA biology
  • Plant Biology
  • Genetics
  • Developmental Genetics
  • Developmental Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Gene Expression


  • Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 11/2023.
  • NRAE, CNRS, Univ Montpellier, France. Invited Seminar Speaker. Dalekin is a root-to-shoot signaling molecule with properties of a plant hormone. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 10/2023.
  • Penn State Plant Biology Symposium - RNA Biology. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 05/2022.
  • Tree Drought Physiology Workshop, Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 05/2022.
  • Bioimaging Science Program Meeting. Invited Speaker. Novel in-vivo visualization of bioenergy metabolic and cellular phenotypes in living woody tissue. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 03/2022.
  • Wake Forest University, Department of Biochemistry. The roles of mRNA decay in shaping transcriptome responses to a stimulus. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 10/2021.
  • Seminar at Wake Forest University, Department of Biology, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Group. Title: Gene Expression: the roles of mRNA decay during steady state and during a stimulus response. Presentation, Presented, 10/26/2020.
  • Seminar, Purdue University, Department of Plant Sciences. BYPASS1: Regulator of a Long-Distance Signaling Pathway with links to Drought signaling . Presentation, Presented, 10/25/2019.
  • Plant Canada 2019, Guelph, Ontario. Keynote address. Beyond transcription factors: a degrading story of gene expression control. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 07/09/2019.
  • Seminar to the Plant Biology division. The bps signal communicates drought perception from the root. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 12/03/2018.
  • Seminar to the Cell and Molecular Biology division: Tales from the crypt: what we can learn from [mRNA] decay. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 12/03/2018.
  • University of Arizona, Tucson. March 2017. BYPASS1: REGULATOR OF A LONG-DISTANCE SIGNALING PATHWAY WITH LINKS TO DROUGHT. Presentation, Presented, 02/08/2016.
  • KSAB International Conference on Plant Molecular Biology, PyongChang, South Korea. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 08/2015.
  • University of Florida, Institute of Genetics. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 03/2015.
  • Korean Society for Agricultural Biochemistry, 50th Year Conference. Invited Speaker Long Distance Signaling in Plants. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 10/2010.
  • Yonsei University Seminar Long-Distance Signaling in Plants: the BPS1 protein is a negative regulator. Presentation, Presented, 10/2010.

Research Groups

  • Jessica Vincent, Graduate Student. 10/13/2017 - 10/13/2023.
  • Alex Cummins, Graduate Student. School of Biological Sciences. 10/2016 - 06/2023.
  • Reed Sorenson, Postdoc. School of Biological Sciences. 01/11/2016 - present.

Software Titles

  • RNAdecay: Maximum Likelihood Decay Modeling of RNA Degradation Data. R package version 1.2.1. This r package uses RNAseq data to calculate two parameters of mRNA decay: the initial decay rate, and a second factor, beta, which quantifies slowing of decay rate over the course of the experiment. The package includes sample data. Release Date: 03/30/2018. Inventors: Sorenson, R., Johnson, K., Adler, F., Sieburth, L.