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Nina Stromgren Allen

Professor Emertitus of Plant Biology & former Director of Cellular and Molecular Imaging Facility
Former Faculty Senate Chair

4115 Gardner Hall
Box 7612, NCSU Raleigh, NC 27695 
Office: (919) 515-8382
Lab: (919) 515-3525
Fax: (919) 515-3436
nina_allen@ncsu.edu

 
 

Research Interests:

Over the past ten years, my research has been focused primarily in two areas:
    (1) the study of cell motility and the cytoskeleton 
    and their relations to signal transduction in plant
    cells and
    (2) the development of better video imaging
     methods.

A long-standing interest has been the structure of the cytoskeleton (earlier in relation to the mechanism(s) of cytoplasmic streaming) and especially the precise localization over time of actin and microtubules and endoplasmic reticulum in cells. These structures are very dynamic and are involved in many cell processes including signal transduction events. 

Calcium and proton ions serve as signals in many other cellular events and we have available now instrumentation for the precise detection and quantitation of small changes in Ca++ and H+ levels in cells using video microscopy and ratio imaging as well as electrophysiological methods. Several systems are being investigated. 
1.  Graviperception.  We are investigating how plant cells perceive gravity and how this signal is transduced to cause the observed growth responses.
2.  Nodulation.  We are investigating the early responses of Medicago to Rhizobium and Nod factors.

I am the former Director of the Cellular and Molecular Imaging Facility (CMIF) located in the Plant BiologyDepartment at NCSU.  This facility houses a number of microscopes including a Leica confocal laser scanning microscope.  I have a long-standing interest in further improving methods of electronic light microscopy.  We have developed a new method, Polarization Modulation DIC and we will continue to further test and develop the polarization modulation microscope as well as any other microscope improvements we find necessary in order to record dynamic events in living cells.

More recently, we have become interested in developing biosensors in collaboration with Professors in Engineering and Physics at NCSU.  The eventual goal is to develop very small sensors that can be placed next to or in cells to measure a number of parameters.

Selected Publications:

Greg Nusz, Eva Johannes, Nina Strömgren Allen, Hans D. Hallen. 2006.
Self-Assembled Monolayer Coating of Biological Probes to avoid Protein Adhesion. NanoBioTechnology. In press.


Gupton SL, Collings DA, Allen NS. 2006. Endoplasmic reticulum targeted GFP
reveals ER organization in tobacco NT-1 cells during cell division. Plant
Physiol. Biochem. in press.

Moyer-Henry K, Silva I, Macfall J, Johannes E, Allen NS, Goldfarb B, Rufty
T. 2005. Accumulation and localization of aluminium in root tips of loblolly
pine seedlings and the associated ectomycorrhiza Pisolithus tinctorius.
Plant Cell Environ. 28: 111-120



Vincent P., M. Chua, F. Nogue, A. Fairbrother, H. Mekheel, Y.Xu, N. Allen,
T. Bibikova, S. Gilroy, V. A. Bankaitis. 2005.A Sec14p-nodulin-domain phosphatidylinositol transfer protein polarizes membrane growth of Arabidopsis root hairs. J. Cell Bio. 801-812.

Weerasinghe R, Bird DM, Allen N.S. 2005. Root-knot nematodes and bacterial Nod factors elicit common signal transduction events in Lotus japonicus root hair cells. PNAS 102:2147.

Katherine A. Turner, Tim L. Sit, Anton S. Callaway, Nina S. Allen, Steven A. Lommel. 2004. Red Clover Necrotic Mosaic Virus Replication Proteins Accumulate at the Endoplasmic Reticulum. Virology. On line.

Ravisha R. Weerasinghe, David A. Collings, Eva Johannes, Nina Strömgren Allen. 2003. The distributional changes and role of microtubules in Nod factor challenged Medicago sativa root hairs. Planta 218: 276-287

N.Strömgren Allen P. Chattaraj, D. Collings, and E. Johannes. 2003.
Gravisensing: Ionic Responses, Cytoskeleton and amyloplast behavior. Advances in Space Science. Res. 32: 163-167

W. Pline, KL Edmisten, T Oliver, JW Wilcut, R Wells, NS Allen. 2002. Use of digital image analysis, viability stains, and germination assays to estimate conventional and glyphosphate-resistant cotton pollen viability.

Crop Science 42:2193-2200.Cover photo.

Johannes E, Collings DA, Rink JC, Allen NS. 2001. Cytoplasmic pH dynamics in Maize Pulvinal Cells Induced by Gravity Vector Changes. Plant Phys: 127:119-130.

Johannes, E.; Collings, DA; Rink, JC; Allen, NS. 2001.  Cytoplasmic pH dynamics in Zea mays cells induced by gravity vector changes.  Plant Phys:  127:119-130.

Collings DA, Zsuppan, G, Allen, NS, Elison B. Blancaflor.  2001.  Demonstration of prominent actin filaments in the root columella. Planta 212:392-403.

Collings DA, Carter, CN, Rink JC, Scott, AC, Wyatt, SE, Allen, NS.  2000.  Plant Nuclei contain Extensive Cytoplasmic Grooves and Invaginations.  Plant Cell: 12:2425-2440.

Collings, D.A. and Allen, N.S. (2000) Cortical actin interacts with the plasma membrane and microtubules.  In: "Actin: A Dynamic Framework For Multiple Plant Cell Functions." eds Baluska F, Barlow, PW, Staiger CJ &Volkmann D. Kluwer pp. 145-163.

Silver I, Smyth TJ, Moxley DF, Carter TE, Allen NS, Rufty, TW.  2000.  Aluminum Accumulation at Nuclei of Cells in the Root Tip:  Fluorescence Detection Using Lumogallion and Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy.  Plant Phys 123:543-552.

Scott, A.C., and N.S. Allen.  1999.  Changes in cytosolic pH within Arabidopsis Root Columella Cells Play a Key Role in the Early Signaling Pathway for Root Gravitropism. Plant Physiol 121:1291-98.

Scott, A.C., S. Wyatt, P. Tsou, N. Robertson, and N.S.  Allen.  1999.  A model system for plant cell biology:  GFP imaging in living onion  epidermal cells.
BioTechniques 26:1125-1132.(with  cover photo voted best cover of 1999).

Nancy L. Jones, Nina S. Allen, Mark C. Willingham, and Jon C. Lewis.  1999.  Modified LDLs induce and bind to membrane ruffles on macrophages.  The AnatomicalRecord 255:44-56.

Collings,D.A., Winter,H., Wyatt,S.E. and Allen,N.S.  1998.  Growth dynamics and cytoskeleton organization during stem maturation and gravity-induced stem     bending in Zea mays L.  Planta 207:246-258.

Collings, D.A., Asada,T.A., Allen,N.S and Shibaoka,S.  1998.  Plasma membrane-associated actin in tobacco BY-2 cells: evidence for interaction with microtubules.   Plant Physiol.118:917-928.

Holzwarth, G., Webb, S.J., Kubinski, D.J., N.S. Allen.  1997.  Improving DIC Microscopy with Polarization Modulation.  Jour. of Microscopy 188:249-254.

Allen, R.D. and N.S. Allen. 1983.  Video-enhanced microscopy with a computer frame memory. Jour. of Microscopy. 129:3-18.

Collings,D.A., Winter,H., Wyatt,S.E. and Allen,N.S.  1998.  Growth dynamics and cytoskeleton organization during stem maturation and gravity-induced stem bending in Zea mays L.  Planta 207:246-258.

Collings, D.A., Asada,T.A., Allen,N.S and Shibaoka,S.  1998.  Plasma membrane- associated actin in tobacco BY-2 cells: evidence for interaction with microtubules.   Plant Physiol.118:917-928.

Allen, N.S., M.N. Bennett, D.N. Cox, A. Shipley, D.W. Ehrhardt, S.R. Long.  1994.  Effects of Nod Factors on Alfalfa Root  Hair Ca++ and H+ Currents and on Cytoskeletal Behavior.  In Advances in Molecular Genetics of Plant-Microbe Interactions. Vol. 3. M.J. Daniels, J.A. Downie, and A.E. OsBOurn (eds.) Kluwer Academic, Netherlands.

Johannes, E,Collings, DA, Rink JC, Allen, NS. 2001. Cytoplasmic pH dynamics in Zea mays pulvinal cells induced by gravity vector changes. Plant Physiology (In press).

TV Productions:

NOVA, The Green Machine. Film footage on cytoplasmic streaming.
NOVA, Still Waters. Advisor on cine micrography.
Cyanobacteria and stromatolites. 1992. Video tape as part of museum exhibit. For Chadd-Angiers Production Co., MA.
Contractility of striated muscle. 1992. Video tape as part of museum exhibit. For Chadd-Angiers Production Co. MA.
Many other digital and analogue video sequences and tape productions of events and structures in living cells are available  upon request.




The Department of Plant Biology 2115 Gardner Hall · Campus Box 7612· Raleigh, NC 27695-7612
919-515-2727 (phone) · 919-515-3436 (fax)

College of Agriculture & Life Sciences · NC State University