Bob Goldberg

phone: (310) 825-9093
office: Terasaki Life Sciences Research Building 4121
lab website

Research Interests

During the next 50 years, we need to produce more food than in the entire history of humankind on a decreasing amount of land for crop production. A major challenge for the 21st century is to increase the yields of major crop plants, such as soybean, using state-of-the-art genetic technologies. One way to accomplish this task is to use genomics to understand all of the genes and genetic processes required to ?make a seed? in order to engineer plants for yield traits such as more seeds, bigger seeds, and seeds with improved nutritional composition. Increasing seed yield should contribute significantly to enhancing our food supply, because over half of the major crops used for human consumption are seed crops.

My laboratory has been investigating gene activity during seed development in order to identify the genes and gene regulatory networks required to program seed development. We have been carrying out experiments to 1) profile the mRNAs present in every soybean and Arabidopsis seed compartment (e.g., embryo, endosperm, seed coat), region (embryo proper, suspensor), and tissue (e.g., inner integument, endothelium, seed coat epidermis) throughout development, 2) characterize the epigenetic events at the DNA and chromatin level to understand their role in seed development, and 3) determine the targets of critical transcription factor genes programming seed development. The main focus of our experiments is to identify transcription factor genes that program differentiation events and determine how they form regulatory networks that program seed differentiation and function. The long-term goal of research being carried out in my laboratory is to understand ?how to make a seed? in order to use this information for the improvement of crop plants.

Selected Publications

Jo, L., Pelletier, J.M., Hsu, S., Baden, R., Goldberg, R.B., Harada, J.J., "Combinatorial interactions of the LEC1 transcription factor specify diverse developmental programs during soybean seed development", Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci, USA 117 : 1223-1232 (2020) .

Chen, M., Bui, A.Q., & Goldberg, R.B., "Using giant scarlet runner bean (Phaseolus coccineus) embryos to dissect the early events in plant embryogenesis", Plant embryogenesis: Methods and protocols, M. Bayer(Eds.), Berlin, Germany Springer Science+Business Media 2122 : 205-222 (2020) .

Goldberg, R.B., Larkins, B.A., and Quatrano, R. S., "The Plant Cell: Beginnings", The Plant Cell, M. Bayer(Eds.), 31 : 1391-1392 (2019) .

Chen, M., Lin, J.Y., Hur, J., Pelletier, J.M., Baden, R., Pellegrini, M., Harada, J.J., and Goldberg, R.B., "Seed genome hypomethylated regions are enriched in transcription factor genes", Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, M. Bayer(Eds.), 115 : 8315-8322 (2018) .

Henry, Kelli F., Bui, Anhthu Q., Kawashima, T., and Goldberg, R.B., "A shared cis-regulatory module activates transcription in the suspensor of plant embryos", Proc. Natl. Acad, Sci. USA, M. Bayer(Eds.), 115 : 5824-5833 (2018) .

Pelletier, J.M., Kwong, R.W., Park, S., Lee, B.H., Baden, R., Cagliari, A., Hashimoto, M., Munoz, M.D., Fischer, R.L., Goldberg, R.B., and Harada, J.J., "LEC1 sequentially regulates the transcription of genes involved in diverse developmental processes during seed development", Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci USA, M. Bayer(Eds.), 114 : 6710-6719 (2017) .

Henry, K.F., Kawashima, T., and Goldberg, R.B., "A cis-regulatory module activating transcription in the suspensor contains five cis-regulatory elements", Plant Molecular Biology, M. Bayer(Eds.), 88 : 207-217 (2015) .

Danzer, J., Mellot, E., Bui, A.Q., Le, B.H., Martin, P., Hashimoto, M., Perez-Lesher, J., Chen, M., Pelletier, J.M., Somers, D.A., Goldberg, R.B., Harada, J.J., "Downregulating the expression of 53 soybean transcription factor genes uncovers a role for SPEECHLESS in initiating stomatal cell lineages during embryo development", Plant Physiology, M. Bayer(Eds.), 168 : 1025-1035 (2015) .

Khan, D., Miller, J.L., Girard, I.J., Chan, A., Kirkbride, R.C., Pelletier, J.M., Becker, M.G., Yeung, E.C., Stasolla, C., Goldberg, R.B., Harada, J.J., and Belmonte, M. F., "Transcriptome atlas of the Arabidopsis funiculus - a study of maternal seed subregions", Plant Journal, M. Bayer(Eds.), 82 : 41-53 (2015) .

Belmonte, M. F., Kirkbride, R. C., Stone, S., Pelletier, J. M., Bui, A. Q., Yeung, E. C., Hashimoto, M, Fei, J., Harada, C. M., Munoz, M. D., Le, B. H., Drews, G. N., Brady, S. M., Goldberg, R. B., and Harada, J .J., "Comprehensive developmental profiles of gene activity in regions and subregions of the Arabidopsis seed", Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci USA, M. Bayer(Eds.), 110 (5): 434-444 (2013) .