Michelle Facette

Professor Michelle Facette

Assistant Professor, Biology


Ph.D., Stanford University, 2008
B.S., Carleton University, Ottawa Canada, 1998


Research Area: Cell and Developmental Biology, Genomics and Genetics, Plant Environment Interactions
Field of Study: Asymmetric cell division and grass stomatal function

The Facette lab studies plant form and function using stomata in maize. Stomata are small pores in the epidermis that open and shut in response to cues, and regulate gas exchange and water status in the plant. Maize is a grass, and is both a crop plant and a plant model system with many tools and resources. We study the mechanism of asymmetric cell division using the formation of maize stomata as a model. Asymmetric cell divisions are important because they are generative - they are the divisions that form new types of cells, and the orientation of asymmetric division determines the the organization of cells with in a tissue. We study proteins important for asymmetric divisions including receptor molecules that participate in cell-cell signalling and cytoskeletal proteins. We are also interested in the function of maize stomata. Grasses, including maize, have stomata that open and close rapidly. The morphology of grass stomata is unique. We are exploring the natural diversity in maize stomata to determine what features  - morphological and genetic - facilitate rapid stomatal function. 

Facette Lab Web