jeff harper

Jeff Harper



The Harper lab is interested in how a plant can use as few as 28,000 genes to develop and survive under extreme environmental conditions, such as cold, heat, drought and salt stress. A primary focus is on calcium signaling. The lab employs genetic, cell, bioinformatic, and biochemical approaches, using Arabidopsis and yeast as model systems.

Specific aims are focused on questions of enzyme structure and function for members of the following three gene families.

  • Calcium Dependent Protein Kinases (CDPKs). CDPKs have a unique structure defined by the presence of a calmodulin-like regulatory domain fused to the C-terminal end of the kinase. They are only found in plants and some protist, including the human parasite Plasmodium, the causative agent of malaria.
  • Cyclic Nucleotide Gated Channels (CNGCs). These ion channels have been implicated in calcium signaling and are regulated by both cyclic nucleotides and calmodulin.
  • P-type ATPase Ion Pumps. These ion pumps are used to transport across membranes a wide variety of ions, including H+, Ca2+, Na+, and heavy metals. They are involved in ion homeostasis, nutrient acquisition from the soil, toxic ion efflux, and signal transduction.


B.S. 1980, University of Illinois (Urbana)
Ph.D. 1985, Washington University (St. Louis)


Publications are listed below.

Book Chapter(s)


The final piece of the Triangle of U: Evolution of the tetraploid Brassica carinata genome


The Plant Cell, Volume 34, Issue 11, November 2022, Pages 4143–4172

Won Cheol Yim, Mia L Swain, Dongna Ma, Hong An, Kevin A Bird, David D Curdie, Samuel Wang, Hyun Don Ham, Agusto Luzuriaga-Neira, Jay S Kirkwood, Manhoi Hur, Juan K Q Solomon, Jeffrey F Harper, Dylan K Kosma, David Alvarez-Ponce, John C Cushman, Patrick P Edger, Annaliese S Mason, J Chris Pires, Haibao Tang, Xingtan Zhang

Here, we report a chromosome scale 1.31-Gbp genome assembly with 156.9-fold sequencing coverage for B. carinata, completing the reference genomes comprising the classic Triangle of U, a classical...

A phospholipid uptake system in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana.


Nature communications, 6, 7649.

Poulsen, L. R., López-Marqués, R. L., Pedas, P. R., McDowell, S. C., Brown, E., Kunze, R., Harper, J. F., Pomorski, T. G., Palmgren, M.

Analysis and visualization of RNA-Seq expression data using RStudio, Bioconductor, and Integrated Genome Browser, Methods


Mol Biol 1284, 481-501.

Loraine, A. E., Blakley, I. C., Jagadeesan, S., Harper, J., Miller, G., and Firon, N.

Limonata, et al.,, Harper, J. F. (2014). ACA12 is a deregulated isoform of plasma membrane Ca2+-ATPase of Arabidopsis thaliana.


Plant Mol Biol. 84:387-397.

Limonta M, Romanowsky S, Olivari C, Bonza MC, Luoni L, Rosenberg A, Harper JF, De Michelis MI.

<p>Plant auto-inhibited Ca&sup2;?-ATPases (ACA) are crucial in defining the shape of calcium transients and therefore in eliciting plant responses to various stimuli. Arabidopsis thaliana genome...

A cyclic nucleotide-gated channel (CNGC16) in pollen is critical for stress tolerance in pollen reproductive development


Plant Physiol. 2013 Feb;161(2):1010-20.

Tunc-Ozdemir M, Tang C, Ishka MR, Brown E, Groves NR, Myers CT, Rato C, Poulsen LR, McDowell S, Miller G, Mittler R, Harper JF.

Enhanced seed production under prolonged heat stress conditions in Arabidopsis thaliana plants deficient in cytosolic ascorbate peroxidase 2


Journal of Experimental Botany 64: 253-63

Suzuki N, Miller G, Sejima H, Harper J, Mittler R

Evolution of plant p-type ATPases


Frontiers in Plant Science. 3:31

Pedersen CN, Axelsen KB, Harper JF, and Palmgren MG.

Na,K-ATPase is a target of cigarette smoke and reduced expression predicts poor patient outcome of smokers with lung cancer.


Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2012 Jun 1;302(11):

Huynh TP, Mah V, Sampson VB, Chia D, Fishbein MC, Horvath S, Alavi M, Wu DC, Harper J, Sarafian T, Dubinett SM, Langhans SA, Goodglick L, Rajasekaran AK.

Disruption of the vacuolar calcium-ATPases in Arabidopsis results in the activation of a salicylic acid-dependent programmed cell death pathway


Frontiers in Plant Science

Curran, et al.,, Harper, J. F.

The ins and outs of cellular Ca transport.


Current Opinion in Plant Biology

Spalding, E., Harper, J. F.

Disruption of the vacuolar calcium-ATPases in Arabidopsis results in the activation of a salicylic acid-dependent programmed cell death pathway.


Plant Physiol. 154:1158-71

Borusiac, et al., Harper, J. F.

Na,K-ATPase subunits as markers for epithelial-mesenchymal transition in cancer and fibrosis.


Mol Cancer Therapeutics 9:1515-24.

Rajasekaran SA, Huynh TP, Wolle DG, Espineda CE, Inge LJ, Skay A, Lassman C, Nicholas SB, Harper JF, Reeves AE, Ahmed MM, Leatherman JM, Mullin JM, Rajasekaran AK.

Natural genetic variation in selected populations of Arabidopsis thaliana is associated with ionomic differences.


PLoS One. 14;5(6):e11081

Buescher E, Achberger T, Amusan I, Giannini A, Ochsenfeld C, Rus A, Lahner B, Hoekenga O, Yakubova E, Harper JF, Guerinot ML, Zhang M, Salt DE, Baxter IR

Temperature stress and plant sexual reproduction: uncovering the weakest links.


Journal of Experimental Botany 61: 1959-1968

Zinn, KE, M Tunc-Ozdemir, JF Harper,

Calcium-Dependent Protein Kinases Regulate Polarized Tip-Growth in Pollen Tubes.


Plant Journal, 59, 528.

Meyers, et al.,, Harper, J. F.

Enhanced tolerance to oxidative stress in transgenic Arabidopsis plants expressing proteins of unknown function.


Plant Physiology, 148(1), 280-292.

Luhua, S., Ciftci-Yilmaz, S., Harper, J. F., Cushman, J. C., Mittler, R.

Gene expression signatures and small-molecule compounds link a protein kinase to Plasmodium falciparum motility.


Nat Chem Bio, 4(6), 347-356.

K., Harper, J. F., Winzeler, E.