Research foci-

Our lab focusses on two main areas:

  1. 1.Characterization of genes and the proteins they encode involved in cell wall synthesis. our interest lies in cell shape and morphogenesis as well as the question of how extracellular cues are translated through the cell wall to respond to abiotic or biotic interaction.

  2. 2.Examination of how do plants respond to their regional and local environment? we are actively involved in both basic and applied research based on the concept of the farm of the future. our goal is assess value of building soil and plant biodiversity, increasing plant productivity at the systems level, water quality, nutrient use efficiency, carbon, nitrogen and renewable energy. a 60 acre research farm nearby to UK Campus and collaborate with both industry partners and other research faculty

published works



  1. 1.Jonathan Griffiths, Krešimir Šola, Rehka Kushwaha, Patricia Lam, Mizuki Tateno , Robin Young, Catalin Voiniciuc, Gillian Dean, Shawn Mansfield, Seth DeBolt, and George Haugh (2015) Unidirectional movement of cellulose synthase complexes in Arabidopsis seed coat epidermal cells deposits cellulose involved in mucilage extrusion, adherence and ray formation. Plant Physiology (in press)

  2. 2.Lucas, S, DeAngelo E, DeBolt S, Williams MA (2015) Soil treatment-induced differential gene expression in tomato: Relationships between defense gene expression and soil microbial community. Applied Soil Ecology doi: 10.1016/j.apsoil.2015.03.008

  3. 3.Ye Xia, Seth DeBolt, Jamin Dreyer, Delia Scott, Mark Williams (2015) Characterization of culturable bacterial endophytes and their capacity to promote growth from plants grown using organic or conventional practices. Frontiers in Plant Science section Plant-Microbe Interaction (in revision)

  4. 4.Corbin KR, Byrt CS, Bauer S, DeBolt S, Chambers D, Karem G, Henderson M, Lahnstein J, Beahan CT, Bacic A, Fincher GB, Betts NS, Burton RA (2015) Prospecting for energy-rich renewable raw materials: Agave leaf case study. PLoS ONE

  5. 5.Corbin KR, Yves SY, Betts NS, Byrt CS, Henderson M, Stork S, DeBolt S, Fincher GB, Burton RA (2015) Grape marc as a source of carbohydrates for bioethanol: chemical composition, pre-treatment and saccharification. Bioresource Technology

  6. 6.Carloalberto Petti, Ko Hirano, Jozsef Stork, Seth DeBolt (2015) Mapping of a cellulose deficient mutant named dwarf-1 in Sorghum bicolor to the Green Revolution gene GA20-oxidase reveals a regulatory association between gibberellin and cellulose biosynthesis. Plant Physiology

  7. 7.Cassie Welker, Vimal Kumar Balasubramanian, Carloalberto Petti, Krishan Rai, Seth DeBolt, Venugopal Mendu (2015) Engineering plant biomass lignin content and composition for biofuels and bioproducts. Energies (energies-89082)

  8. 8.Chad Brabham, Jozsef Stork, Seth DeBolt (2015) [14C] Glucose Cell Wall Incorporation Assay. Bio-Protocols.

  9. 9.Tateno M,Brabham C, DeBolt S(2015) Chemical biology to advance cell wall research. Journal of Experimental Botany. (in press)


  1. 1.Carloalberto Petti , Rehka Kushwaha , Mizuki Tateno , Anne Elizabeth Harman-Ware , Mark Crocker , Joseph Awika , and Seth DeBolt (2014) Mutagensis breeding for increased 3-deoxyanthocyanidin accumulation in leaves of Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench: a source of natural food pigment J. Agric. Food Chem., Just Accepted Manuscript DOI: 10.1021/jf405324j

  2. 2.Xia Y, Lei L, Stork J, Strickland J, et al. (2014) Acetobixan, an Inhibitor of Cellulose Synthesis Identified by Microbial Bioprospecting. PLoS ONE 9(4): e95245.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0095245

  3. 3.Brabham, C., Lei, L., Gu, Y., Stork, J., Barrett, M.,aand DeBolt, S. 2014. Indaziflam herbicidal action: a potent cellulose biosynthesis inhibitor. Plant Phys. DOI:10.1104/pp.114.241950.

  4. 4.Anne E. Harman-Ware, Mark Crocker, Robert B. Pace, Andrew Placido, Samuel Morton III, Seth DeBolt (2014) Characterization of Endocarp Biomass and Extracted Lignin Using Pyrolysis and Spectroscopic Methods. Bioenergy Research (online)

  5. 5.Nair M, Petti C, DeBolt S (2014) The involvement of J-protein AtDjC17 in root development in Arabidopsis. Front. Plant Sci. 5:532. doi:10.3389/fpls.2014.00532

  6. 6.Xia Y, Petti C, Williams MA and DeBolt S (2014) Experimental approaches to study plant cell walls during plant-microbe interactions. Front. Plant Sci. 5:540. doi:10.3389/fpls.2014.00540


  1. 1.Brabham C and DeBolt S (2013) Chemical genetics to probe the cell wall Frontiers in Plant Biotechnology 3:309. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2012.00309

  2. 2.Sahoo, D, DeBolt S, Stork J, Maiti I (2013) Manipulating cellulose biosynthesis by expression of mutant Arabidopsis proM24::CESA3ixr1-2 gene in transgenic tobacco Plant Biotechnology Journal DOI: 10.1111/pbi.12024

  3. 3.Montross, M, Adams W, DeBolt S (2013) Interplay between yield, nitrogen application, and logistics on the potential energetic and Greenhouse Gas emissions from biomass crops GCB Bioenergy (in revision)

  4. 4.Latsavongsakda S, Haigler C, Kubicki J, Zimmer J, Bonetta D, DeBolt S, and Yingling Y (2013) Tertiary model of a plant cellulose synthase PNAS doi:10.1073/pnas.1301027110

  5. 5.Petti, C, Shearer, A, Tateno, M, Ruwaya M, Nokes, S, Brutnell, T and DeBolt, S (2013) Comparative feedstock analysis in Setaria viridis L. as a model for C4 bioenergy grasses and Panicoid crop species. Front. Plant Sci. 4:181. doi:10.3389/fpls.2013.00181

  6. 7.Harman-Ware A L, Morgan T, Wilson M, Crocker M, Zhang J, Liu K, Stork J and DeBolt S (2013) Fast Pyrolysis of Scenedesmus Algae. Renewable Energy doi: 10.1016/j.renene.2013.06.016 (in press)

  7. 8.Petti C, Harman-Ware A, Tateno M, Kushwaha R, Shearer A, Downie AB, Crocker M, and DeBolt S (2013) Sorghum mutant RG displays antithetic leaf shoot lignin accumulation resulting in improved stem saccharification properties. Biotechnology for Biofuels M#2184127410149510 (accepted)

  8. 9.Banjeree J, Nair M, Dirk L, DeBolt S, Maiti I and Houtz R(2013) Calmodulin Mediated Signal Transduction Pathways in Arabidopsis are Fine-Tuned by Methylation. Plant Cell 25: 4493-4511


  1. 1.Harris DM, Corbin K, Wang T, Gutierrez R, Bertolo AL, Petti C, Smilgies DM, Estevez JM, Bonetta D, Urbanowicz B, Ehrhardt DW, Somerville C, Rose JCK, Hong M and DeBolt S* (2012) Cellulose microfibril crystallinity is reduced by mutating C-terminal transmembrane region residues CESA1A-V903 and CESA3T-I942 Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 109, 4098-103

  2. 2.Simson M and DeBolt S* (2012) Sustained oxalic acid biosynthesis in Chambourcin grapes. Horticultural Science and Biotechnology 87(5) 429-434.

  3. 3.Mendu, V, Shearin, T, Campbell E Jr., Stork J, Jae J, Crocker M, Huber G and DeBolt S* (2012) Global Bioenergy Potential From High Lignin Agricultural Residue Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 109(10):4014-9

  4. 4.Schrick K, DeBolt S, Bulone V (2012) Deciphering the molecular functions of sterols in cellulose biosynthesis Frontiers in Plant Physiology 3:84. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2012.00084

  5. 5.DeBolt S* and Estevez J (2012) Current challenges in plant cell walls Frontiers in Plant Physiology doi: 10.3389/fpls.2012.00232.

  6. 6.Xia, Y, Mucci C, Griessworth E, Williams M, DeBolt S*. (2012) Characterization of culturable bacterial endophytes of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and their capacity to effect plant growth. GCB Bioenergy DOI: 10.1111/j.1757-1707.2012.01208.x


  1. 1.Sampathkumar A, Lindeboom J, DeBolt, S, Ketalaar T, Guterriez R, Ehrhardt D, Perrson (2011) Live cell imaging reveals structural associations between the actin and microtubule cytoskeleton in Arabidopsis Plant Cell 23(6):2302-13

  2. 2.Mendu V, Griffiths J, Persson, S, Stork J, Voiniciuc C, Downie AB, Haughn G, DeBolt S* (2011) Subfunctionalization of cellulose synthases in seed coat epidermal cells mediate secondary radial wall synthesis and mucilage attachment Plant Physiol 157(1):441-53

  3. 3.Joshi JP, Thammannagowda S, Fujino T, Gou J, Avci U, Haigler C, McDonnell LM, Mansfield SD, Menghesa B, Carpita N, Harris D, DeBolt S and Peter G (2010). Perturbation of wood cellulose synthesis causes pleiotropic effects in transgenic aspen Molecular Plant 1: 205

  4. 4.Mendu V, Stork J, Harris D, Debolt S* (2011) Cellulose synthesis in two secondary cell wall processes in a single cell type. Plant Sign and Behav. 1-6

  5. 5.Mendu V, Harman-Ware AE, Crocker M, Jae J, Stork J, Morton S 3rd, Placido A, Huber G, Debolt S* (2011) Identification and thermochemical analysis of high-lignin feedstocks for biofuel and biochemical production. Biotechnol for Biofuels 2011; 4: 43.


  1. 1.Andrews Rodney; Crocker Mark; DeBolt Seth; et al. (2010) Lignin deconstruction for the production of liquid fuels ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY Volume: 240 Meeting Abstract: 21-IEC

  2. 2.DeBolt S* (2010) Copy number variation shapes genome diversity in Arabidopsis over immediate family generational scales Genome Biology and Evolution 2: 441-453.

  3. 3.Stork J, Harris D, Williams B+, Griffiths J, Haughn G, Beisson F, Li Y, Mendu V, DeBolt S* (2010) CELLULOSE SYNTHASE9 serves a non-redundant role in secondary cell wall synthesis in the radial wall of Arabidopsis epidermal testa cells Plant Physiology 153: 580-589.

  4. 4.Harris D, Bulone V, Ding H and DeBolt S* (2010) Tools for analyzing cellulose biosynthesis Plant Physiology 153: 420-426.

  5. 5.Harris D and DeBolt S* (2010) Synthesis, regulation and utilization of lignocellulosic biomass Plant Biotechnology Journal 8. 244-262.


  1. 1.DeBolt S*, Campbell JE, Smith R, Stork J, (2009) Regional life cycle assessment of bioenergy agriculture on marginal land. Global Change Biology- Bioenergy 4: 360-369.

  2. 2.DeBolt S*, Scheible WR, Schrick K, Aurer M, Carroll A, Hematy K, Bouvier P, Nair M, Schaller H, Zemla M, and Somerville C. (2009) Mutations in UDP glucose:sterol-glucosyltransferase in Arabidopsis cause transparent testa phenotype and suberization defect in seeds. Plant Physiology 151: 78-87.

  3. 3.Stork J, Montross M, Smith R, Schwer L, Chen W, Reynolds M, Phillips T, Coolong C, DeBolt S.* (2009) Regional examination shows potential for native feedstock options for lignocellulosic biofuel production. Global Change Biology- Bioenergy 2: 84-96.

  4. 4.Harris D, Stork J, and DeBolt S* (2009) Genetic modification of cellulose synthase reduces crystallinity and improves biochemical conversion to fermentable sugars. Global Change Biology- Bioenergy 1: 51-60. (Cover article)


  1. 1.Harris D and DeBolt S* (2008) Relative Crystallinity in Plant Biomass: Studies on Assembly, Adaptation and Acclimation. PLoS-ONE 3(8): e2897.

  2. 2.Gu Y, Deng Z, Paredez AR, DeBolt S, Wang Z, Somerville C (2008) Arabidopsis Prefoldin6 is involved in delivery of tubulin to cytosolic chaperonin. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 105, 1109-1115.

  3. 3.Marak M, DeBolt S, Persson S (2008) Cellulose synthase; a complex complex.  Current opinion in Plant Biology 11: 1-6.

  4. 4.DeBolt S, Ristic R, Iland PG, Ford CM (2008) Altered light interception reduces grape berry weight and modulates organic acid biosynthesis during development. HortScience 43: 957-961.

  5. 5.Goodin MM, Chakrabarty R, Banerjee R, Yelton S, DeBolt S (2007) Update on live cell imaging: New Gateways to Discovery. Plant Physiology 145: 1100-1109.

Selected Publications prior to coming to University of Kentucky

  1. 1.DeBolt, S., Gutierrez, R., Ehrhardt, D.W., Somerville, C (2007) Non-motile cellulose synthase rosettes repeatedly accumulate within localized regions at the plasma membrane in Arabidopsis hypocotyl cells following 2,6-dichlorobenzonitrile (DCB) treatment. Plant Physiology 145: 334-338.

  2. 2.DeBolt, S., Gutierrez, R., Ehrhardt, D.W., Melo, C.V., Cutler, S., Ross, L., Somerville, C and Bonetta D. (2007) Morlin, a novel inhibitor of cortical microtubule dynamics and cellulose synthase movement. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 104: 5854-5859.

  3. 3.DeBolt, S., Melano, V. and Ford, C.M. (2007) Botanical Briefing: Ascorbic acid catabolism in higher plants. Annals of Botany 99: 3-8.

  4. 4.DeBolt, S., Cook, D.R. & Ford, C. M. (2006) L-Tartaric acid synthesis from vitamin C in higher plants. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 103: 5608-5613.

  5. 5.DeBolt, S., Melano, V. and Ford, C.M. (2006) Developments in our understanding of how grapes make tartaric acid. Aust. & NZ Grapegrower and Winemaker 511: 57-58.

  6. 6.DeBolt, S., Hardie, J., Tyerman S.D. and Ford, C.M. (2004) Composition and synthesis of raphide and druse crystals in berries of Vitis vinifera L. cv. Cabernet Sauvignon: the role of ascorbic acid as the biosynthetic precursor of both oxalic and tartaric acids is revealed by specific radio labelling studies. Aust. J. Grape Wine Res 10: 134-142.


  1. 1.Harris D, Petti C, DeBolt S* (2012) Biogenesis of lignocellulosic biomass for advanced fuels. In "Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts". Ed. James Lee. Springer, New York.

  2. 2.Nair M, DeBolt S* (2010) Analyzing cellulose biosynthesis with confocal microscopy. In "The Plant Cell Wall: Methods and Protocols" Ed: Zo Popper. Methods in Molecular Biology Series. Springer Science Media, New York.

  3. 3.Harris D, DeBolt S* (2013) The use of small molecules to dissect cellulose biosynthesis and manipulate the cortical cytoskeleton. In "Plant Chemical Biology" Ed. Paul Overvoorde, Dominique Audenaert. John Wiley and Sons.

  4. 4.Lucero M, DeBolt, S, et al. (2013) Advancing Food Security through Long Term Research Networks that Explore Agroecosystems Across Disciplines and Scales