Enrico Scarpella

Associate Professor, Faculty of Science - Biological Sciences


Associate Professor, Faculty of Science - Biological Sciences
(780) 492-2869
B-518 Bio Science - Botany Wing
11355 - Saskatchewan Drive
Edmonton AB
T6G 2E9


In all model organisms, the molecular genetic dissection of developmental pathways and the analysis of mutant phenotypes heavily depend on the availability of easily identifiable markers, especially for the study of internal tissues, such as the vascular, which are not readily visible from the surface of the organs.

In order to increase the power of resolution of vascular analysis, I identified and characterized the earliest vascular reporter gene expression markers currently available in the Arabidopsis leaf. The expression profiles of these markers revealed a common spatio-temporal pattern in the formation of veins of all orders. Furthermore, these markers in combination with novel experimental procedures to manipulate vascular patterns demonstrated that Arabidopsis vein pattern is not inherently determinate, but arises through reiterative initiation of early vascular branches until this process becomes terminated by negative interference of mesophyll differentiation. This work has been recently submitted for publication (Scarpella et al., submitted, DEV 1227E.

The aims of my present lines of research are to enhance the analytical resolution of vascular research and increase the genetic basis of vascular patterning (see enclosed “Summary of Research Plans”)


BOT 303 - Plant Development

The generation of a functional plant requires the spatially coordinated acquisition of numerous cell identities. Examines developmental processes in plants at the molecular and cellular level and will cover: body axis establishment and tissue pattern formation during embryogenesis, cell-to-cell communication in patterning events and differentiation processes, and cell differentiation patterns in tissue systems. Emphasis throughout the course will be on current research using developmental mutants. Prerequisites: BIOL 201 and 207; one of BOT 205 or 340 strongly recommended.

Winter Term 2021
GENET 364 - Plant Genetics

This course examines in detail: how to induce mutations in plants by means of chemicals and transgenes; how to use mutagenized and transgenic plant populations for forward and reverse genetic approaches; how to molecularly identify genes defined by mutations in plants; how to infer gene functions and genetic interactions from single and double-mutant phenotypes, respectively, with emphasis on genetic redundancy and functional compensation; and how to visualize gene expression and protein localization with fluorescent proteins. Prerequisite: GENET 270.

Winter Term 2021

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