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Brent A. O'Brien

Brent O'Brien
Brent A. O’Brien
               PhD Student
Horticultural Science Department
1301Fifield Hall
PO Box 110690, University of Florida
Gainesville, FL, 32611
Phone: (352) 273-4834 ext.311  Fax: (352) 392-4726
Email: bob2373@ufl.edu


Training and Education:

  • University of Florida PhD, 2011 Interdepartmental Plant Mol and Cell Bio Program
  • University of Florida BS, 2004 Department of Plant Pathology, Plant Science Major
Positions Held:
  • Post Doctoral Associate, University of Florida, Horticultural Sciences Department (2012- present)
  • Graduate Research Assistant, University of Florida, Plant Mol and Cell Bio Program (2005 - 2011)
  • Undergraduate Research Assistant, University of Florida, Horticultural Sciences Department (2003 to 2005)
  • NSF-REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) Fellowship, University of Florida. (2004)

Refereed Publications

O’Brien, B.A. Ph.D. Dissertation. Functional analysis of the maize cellulose synthase gene family at whole-plant, tissue, cell and protoplast levels. University of Florida Press, 2011: 129 pp.

Settles, A.M., Holding, D.R., Tan, B.C., Latshaw, S.P., Liu, J., Suzuki, M., Li, L., O'Brien, B.A., Fajardo, D.S., Wroclawska, E., Tseung, C., Lai, J., Hunter, C.T., Avigne, W.T., Baier, J., Lonon, D., Messing, J., Hannah, L.C., Koch, K.E., Becraft, P.W., Larkins, B.A., and McCarty, D.R. Sequence-indexed mutations in maize using the UniformMu transposon-tagging population. BMC Genomics. 2007; 8: 116-124.

Abstracts: National and International Presentations Given

O'Brien, B.A., Avigne, W.T., and Koch K.E. Evolution and expression of the cellulose synthase (CesA) gene family in maize. 54th Annual Maize Genetics Conference. Abstract P29. Portland, OR. March 15-18, 2012.

Locke, S.M, O’Brien, B.A., Saunders, J., Gannon, R., Morales, L., Avigne, W.T., McCarty, D., Hunter, C., and Koch, K.E. Identifying Insertions in Phloem-related Genes Using UniformMu Maize. 54th Annual Maize Genetics Conference. Abstract P29. Portland, OR. March 15-18, 2012.  * Presented by undergraduate mentoree.

O'Brien, B.A., Avigne, W.T., McCarty D.R., and Koch K.E. Expression of the Cellulose Synthase (CesA) Gene Family Indicates that CesA10, CesA11, and CesA12 are Strongly, Though  Not Exclusively Associated with Secondary Cell Wall Biosynthesis. Annual Meeting of the American Society of Plant Biologists. Abstract P14021. Minneapoils, MN. August 6-10, 2011.

O'Brien, B.A., Avigne, W.T., McCarty D.R., and Koch K.E. Tissue-specific Expression Analysis of the Cellulose Synthase (CesA) Gene Family Indicates that CesA10, CesA11, and CesA12 are Strongly, Though Not Exclusively Associated with Secondary Cell Wall Biosynthesis. 53rd Annual Maize Genetics Conference. Abstract P38. St Charles, IL. March 17-20, 2011.

O'Brien, B.A., Avigne, W.T., McCarty D.R., and Koch K.E. Expression Profiling of the Maize Cellulose Synthase (CesA) Gene Family at the Protoplast, Cellular, and Tissue-specific Levels. Annual Meeting of the American Society of Plant Biologists. Abstract P08117. Montreal, Canada. July 31-August 4, 2010.     

O'Brien, B.A., Avigne, W.T., McCarty D.R., and Koch K.E. Expression of the Maize Cellulose Synthase (CesA) Gene Family at the Cell-, Protoplast-, and Tissue- Levels. 52nd Annual Maize Genetics Conference. Abstract P68. Riva del Garda, Italy. March 18-21, 2010.

O'Brien, B.A., Avigne, W.T., McCarty, D.R., Settles, A.M., Hannah, L.C., Vermerris, W. E., and Koch K.E. Expression Profiling and Knock-out Anayses of the Maize Cellulose Synthase (CesA) Gene Family at the Protoplast, Cellular, and Tissue-specific Levels. Annual Meeting of the American Society of Plant Biologists. Abstract P15023. Honolulu, HI. July 18-22, 2009.

O'Brien, B.A., Avigne, W.T., McCarty, D.R., Settles, A.M., Hannah, L.C., Vermerris, W., and Koch K.E. Characterization of Maize Cellulose Synthase (CesA) Mutants and Expression Profiling of The CesA Gene Family At The Whole Plant and Cellular Levels. 51st Annual Maize Genetics Conference.  Abstract P83. St Charles, IL. March 12-15, 2009.

O'Brien, B.A., Avigne, W.T., McCarty, D.R., Settles, A.M., Hannah, L.C., Vermerris, W., and Koch K.E. Identification and Characterization of Maize Cell Wall Biosynthetic Genes containing Mu-inserts. Annual Meeting of the American Society of Plant Biologists. Abstract P17013, p.176. Merida, Mexico. June 26-July 1, 2008.

O'Brien, B.A., Avigne, W.T., McCarty, D.R., Settles, A.M., Hannah, L.C., Vermerris, W., and Koch K.E. Identification and Characterization of Maize Cell Wall Biosynthetic Genes containing Mu-inserts. Pan American Congress on Plants and BioEnergy. American Society of Plant Biologists. Abstract BIO1014, p.43. Merida, Mexico. June 22-25, 2008.

O'Brien, B.A., Avigne, W.T., McCarty, D.R., Settles, A.M., Hannah, L.C., Vermerris, W., and Koch K E. Identification and Characterization of Mu-inserts in Genes Potentially Affecting Cell Wall Biosynthesis. 50th Annual Maize Genetics Conference. Abstract P50, p.66. Washington D.C. February 27-March 1, 2008.

O'Brien, B.A., Avigne, W.T., McCarty, D.R., Settles, A.M., Hannah, L.C., Vermerris, W., Carpita, N.C., McCann, M., and Koch K. E. Identification and Characterization of Selected Maize Cell Wall Mutants Generated in the UniformMu Population. Annual Meeting of the American Society of Plant Biologists. Abstract P17046, p.106. Chicago, IL.  July 7-11, 2007.

O'Brien, B.A., Avigne, W.T., McCarty, D.R., Settles, A.M., Hannah, L.C., Vermerris, W., Carpita, N.C., McCann, M., Latshaw, S.P., and Koch K. E. Identification and Characterization of Selected Maize Cell Wall Mutants Generated in the UniformMu Population. 49th  Annual Maize Genetics Conference. Abstract P19, p.47. St. Charles, IL. March 22-25, 2007.

O’Brien, B.A, Avigne, W.T., Carpita,  N.C., McCann, M., Vermerris, W., Reiter, W., Patterson, S., McCarty, D.R., Bleeker, T., Thomas, S., Settles, A.M., Hannah L.C., and Koch K.E. Analysis of two novel shrunken-kernel mutants from the UniformMu Maize population.  Annual Meeting of the American Society of Plant Biologists. Abstract 553, p.203. Seattle, WA. July 16-21, 2005.

Oral presentations:

Expression of the Cellulose Synthase (CesA) Gene Family Indicates that CesA10, CesA11, and CesA12 are Strongly, Though Not Exclusively Associated with Secondary Cell Wall Biosynthesis. Annual Meeting of the American Society of Plant Biologists. Abstract M2503. Minneapoils, MN. August 6-10, 2011. (Invited Minisymposium Speaker)

Expression of the Cellulose Synthase (CesA) Gene Family Indicates that CesA10, CesA11, and CesA12 are Strongly, Though Not Exclusively Associated with Secondary Cell Wall Biosynthesis. University of Florida, Plant Molecular and Cellullar Biology Workshop. Daytona Beach, FL. May, 2011. (Best Presentation Award)

Expression of the Maize Cellulose Synthase (CesA) Gene Family at the Cell-, Protoplast-, and Tissue- Levels. University of Florida, Plant Molecular and Cellullar Biology Workshop. Daytona Beach, FL. May, 2010.

Expression Profiling and Knock-out Anayses of the Cellulose Synthase (CesA) Gene Family at the Protoplast, Cellular, and Tissue-specific Levels. University of Florida, Plant Molecular and Cellullar Biology Workshop. Crystal River, FL. May, 2009.* Awarded for best student presentation.

Identification and Characterization of Maize Cell Wall Biosynthetic Genes containing Mu-inserts.  University of Florida, Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology Workshop.  Jacksonville, FL. May, 2008.

Identification and Characterization of Selected Maize Cell Wall Mutants Generated in the UniformMu Population. University of Florida, Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology Workshop.  Jacksonville, FL. May, 2007.

Co-segregational Analysis of a Non-bronze Shrunken Mutant. 2004 NSF-REU Symposium for Undergraduate Interns in Plant Cell Wall Genomics.  University of Florida. Gainesville, FL.  July, 2004.

Honors:

  • Best Presentation Award at Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology Workshop. 2009
  • University of Florida Alumni Fellowship Award for Ph.D. Research in the Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology program. 2005
  • NSF-REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) Intern Fellowship. 2004

Education and Outreach:

  • Mentor for Undergraduate Interns:
    • Steven Samuels (Summer 2004)
    • Kierston Barnes (2005)
    • Pooja Reddy (2008-2010)
    • Stephanie Locke (2011)
  • Laboratory Demonstrations with Benchside Narration/Explanation:
    • Highschool students and teachers (2008-2012)

Memberships and Activities in the Profession:

  • American Society of Plant Biologists
    • Active at national meetings since 2005
  • Maize Genetics Cooperation
    • Active at national meetings since 2007
    • Volunteer meeting assistant 2008-2011