Carl Douglas

Professor, Dept. of Botany
BA Lewis and Clark College (1976);
M.Sc., Univ. Washington;
Ph.D., Univ. Washington (1983);
Postdoctoral Fellow, Univ. Washington (1983-1984) Max-Planck Institut, Cologne, Germany (1985-1987)

Office phone: (604) 822-2618
Lab phone: (604) 822-6383

Research Interests: 
The areas of research in my lab concern the regulation of plant gene expression, plant phenylpropanoid and related natural products, secondary cell wall development, pollen wall formation, 
Populus (poplar) genomics and molecular biology, and cellulosic biofuels.
Research in my lab is supported by an NSERC Discovery Grant, the NSERC Green Crops Network, the NSERC CREATE program “Working on Walls”, and the Genome British Columbia Applied Genomics Innovation Program.

Current research topics:

Transcriptional regulation of secondary wall formation.
 We use the Arabidopsis inflorescence stem as a model to investigate transcription factors and transcription factor complexes that are part of a network regulating secondary cell wall deposition. We have identified poplar orthologs of these genes and are studying their functions in wood development
Pollen wall formation. Our survey of phenylpropanoid-like genes in Arabidopsis and other plants revealed several that are involved in biosynthesis of sporopollenin, a poorly understood, robust, polyester/polyether polymer that forms the exine of pollen walls. We are investigating tapetum-expressed genes encoding enzymes involved sporopollenin biosynthesis, enzyme functions, and mechanisms of sporopollenin transport from the tapetum to the locule in developing anthers
Poplar genomics and improvement of poplar as a cellulosic biofuel. Through the Genome Canada Treenomix I project, we participated in a multi-national project to sequence the Populus trichocarpa genome and develop genomic tools for poplar. Current work involves detailed investigation of genes that may impact wood and biofuel traits in poplar. We are also using large scale Solexa transcriptome re-sequencing of multiple wild P. trichocarpa individuals for SNP discovery, and for an association study between candidate gene genotype and biofuel trait genotype in 500- and 1000-member P. trichocarpa association populations.

Current Teaching:
UBC Faculty of Science Science One Program
Introductory biology component

Research Team:
Apruva Bhargava (Graduate Student)
SungSoo Kim (Graduate Student)
Yuanyuan Liu (Graduate Student)
Teagen Quilichini (Graduate Student)

Eryang Li (Post Doctoral Fellow)
Michael Friedmann (Project and Research Manager)

Co-supervised Postdoctoral Fellows (Genome BC AGIP project)
Armando Geraldes (Post Doctoral Fellow)
Shucai Wang (Post Doctoral Fellow)
Miki Fujita (Post Doctoral Fellow)
Alec Skyba (Post Doctoral Fellow)
Ilga Porth (Post Doctoral Fellow)

Recent Publications:
Douglas CJ, Ehlting J, and Harding SA. 2009. Phenylpropanoid and phenolic metabolism in Populus: Gene family structure and comparative and functional genomics. In “Poplar” (CP Joshi and S DiFazio eds). Science Publishers, Enfield, New Hampshire, USA, in press.

de Azevedo Souza, C, Kim SS, Koch, S, Kienow L, Schneider , McKim SM, Haughn GW, Kombrink E, and Douglas CJ(2009) A novel fatty acyl-coenzyme A synthetase (ACOS5) is required for pollen development and sporopollenin biosynthesis in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell 21, 507-525.

de Azevedo Souza, C., Barbazuk, B., Ralph, S., Bohlmann, J., Hamberger, B., and Douglas, CJ. (2008). Genome-wide analysis of a land plant-specific acyl:coenzymeA synthetase (ACS) gene family in Arabidopsis, poplar, rice, andPhyscomitrella. New Phytol 179, 987-1003.

Ralph SG, Chun HJ, Kolosova N, Cooper D, Oddy C, Ritland CE, Kirkpatrick R, Moore R, Barber S, Holt RA, Jones SJ, Marra MA, Douglas CJ, Ritland K, and Bohlmann J. (2008) A conifer genomics resource of 200,000 spruce (Picea spp.) ESTs and 6,464 high-quality, sequence-finished full-length cDNAs for Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis). BMC Genomics 9:484.

Ralph SG, Chun HJ, Cooper D, Kirkpatrick R, Kolosova N, Gunter L, Tuskan GA, Douglas CJ, Holt RA, Jones SJ, Marra MA, and Bohlmann J (2008). Analysis of 4,664 high-quality sequence-finished poplar full-length cDNA clones and their utility for the discovery of genes responding to insect feeding. BMC Genomics 9, 57.

Yin T-M, DiFazio SP, Gunter LE, Zhang X, Sewell MM, Woolbright S, Allan GJ, Kelleher CT, Douglas CJ, Wang M-X, Tuskan GA. 2008. Genome structure and emerging evidence of an incipient sex chromosome in Populus. Genome Res, 18, 422-430.

Hamberger B, Ellis M, Friedmann M, de Azevedo Souza C, Barbazuk B, and Douglas CJ. 2007. Genome-wide analyses of phenylpropanoid-related genes in Populus trichocarpa, Arabidopsis thaliana, and Oryza sativa: the Populus lignin toolbox and conservation and diversification of angiosperm gene families. Can J Bot 85, 1182-1201.

Johnson LA and Douglas CJ. 2007. Populus trichocarpa MONOPTEROS/AUXIN RESPONSE FACTOR5 (ARF5) genes: comparative structure, sub-functionalization, and Populus-Arabidopsis microsynteny. Can J Bot 85, 1058-1070.

Ververidis F, Trantas E, Douglas C, Vollmer G, Kretzschmar G, and Panopoulos N. 2007. Biotechnology of flavonoids and other phenylpropanoid-derived natural products. Part I: Chemical diversity, impacts on plant biology and human health. Biotechnol J, 2, 214-234.

Ververidis F, Trantas E, Douglas C, Vollmer G, Kretzschmar G, and Panopoulos N. 2007. Biotechnology of flavonoids and other phenylpropanoid-derived natural products. Part II: Reconstruction of multi-enzyme pathways in plants and microbes. Biotechnol J 2, 1235-1249.

Jansson,S, and Douglas CJ (2007). Populus: a model system for plant biology. Annu Rev Plant Biol 58, 435-458.
Kelleher CT, et al. (CJ Douglas, corresponding author) (2007). A physical map of the highly heterozygous Populus genome: integration with the genome sequence and genetic map and analysis of haplotype variation. Plant J 50, 1063-1078.

Tuskan G, et al. (CJ Douglas one of 5 senior authors) (2006). The genome of black cottonwood, Populus trichocarpa (Torr & Gray ex. Brayshaw). Science 313, 1596-1604.

Soltani BM, Ehlting, J, and Douglas, CJ. (2006). Genetic analysis and epigenetic silencing of At4CL1 and At4CL2 expression in transgenic Arabidopsis. Biotechnol J 1, 1124-1136.

Soltani, BM, Ehlting, J, Hamberger, B, and Douglas, CJ. (2006). Multiple cis-regulatory elements regulate distinct and complex patterns of developmental and wound-induced expression of Arabidopsis thaliana 4CL gene family members. Planta 224, 1226-1238.

Gilchrist EJ, Haughn GW, Ying CC, Otto SP, Zhuang J, Cheung D, Hamberger B, Aboutorabi F, Kalynyak T, Johnson L, Bohlmann J, Ellis, BE, Douglas CJ and Cronk QCB. 2006. Use of Ecotilling as an efficient SNP discovery tool to survey genetic variation in wild populations of Populus trichocarpa. Mol Ecol 15, 1367-1378.

Ralph, S et al. (CJ Douglas one of 4 senior authors) (2006). Genomics of hybrid poplar (Populus trichocarpa x deltoides) interacting with forest tent caterpillars (Malacosoma disstria): normalized and full-length cDNA libraries, expressed sequence tags, and a cDNA microarray for the study of insect-induced defences in poplar. Mol Ecol 15, 1275-1297.

Ralph, SG, Yueh, H, Friedmann, M, Aeschliman, D, Zeznik, JA, Nelson, CC, Butterfield, YS, Kirkpatrick, R, Liu, J, Jones, SJ, Marra, MA, Douglas, CJ, Ritland, K, and Bohlmann, J. (2006). Conifer defence against insects: microarray gene expression profiling of Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) induced by mechanical wounding or feeding by spruce budworms (Choristoneura occidentalis) or white pine weevils (Pissodes strobi) reveals large-scale changes of the host transcriptome. Plant Cell Environ 29, 1545-1570.

Douglas CJ and Ehlting J. 2005. Arabidopsis thaliana full genome longmer microarrays: a powerful gene discovery tool for agriculture and forestry. Transgenic Research, 14, 551-561.

Ehlting J, Mattheus N, Aeschliman DS, Li E, Hamberger B, Cullis IF, Zhuang J, Kaneda M, Mansfield SD, Samuels AL, Ritland K, Ellis BE, Bohlmann J, and Douglas CJ. 2005. Global transcript profiling of primary stems from Arabidopsis thaliana identifies candidate genes for missing links in lignin biosynthesis and transcriptional regulators of fiber differentiation. Plant J 42, 618-640.

Lippert D, Zhuang J, Ralph S, Ellis DE, Gilbert M, Olafson R, Ritland K, Ellis B, Douglas CJ, and Bohlmann J. 2005. Proteome analysis of early somatic embryogenesis in Picea glauca. Proteomics 5:461-73.

Ro DK and Douglas CJ. 2004. Reconstitution of the entry point of plant phenylpropanoid metabolism in yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae): Implications for control of metabolic flux into the phenylpropanoid pathway. J Biol Chem 279, 2600-2607.