Mark Staves

Mark Staves, Ph.D.

Plant Physiology; Plant Cell Biology

Office: 211 Henry Hall
Phone: (616) 331-2473


University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX. Ph.D., Botany, 1987.
Dissertation: The Evolution of Transfer RNA.

University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, 1982-83.

University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX. M.S., Botany, 1982.
Thesis: Nuclear Synchrony in Valonia macrophysa: Light Microscopy and Flow Cytometry.

University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX. B.S., Aquatic Biology (Honors), 1980.


Courses taught at GVSU:

BIO 120 - General Biology
BIO 303 - Plants and Fungi
BIO 405 and 406 - Cell and Molecular Biology

Research Interests:

Dr. Staves has research interests in plant cell biology, plant physiology (with a focus on trying to understand the mechanisms by which cells perceive environmental stimuli, especially gravity.) and molecular evolution (comparing nucleic acid sequence data to test hypotheses on the origin of the genetic apparatus).

Current projects include:1) a characterization of gravitropism in the aquatic plant, Chara. 2) examining the effect of varying the density of the external medium on gravitropism of higher plants as well as algae 3) Characterizing the effect of a chemical (or chemicals) produced by Chara that may inhibit the growth of other plants and invertebrates 4) (in collaboration with Dr Blackman) Isolation and characterization of integrin-like proteins required for embryogenesis and gravity sensing.

Recent Publications:

Wayne R and Staves MP (2008) Model Scientists. J of Communicative and Integrative Biology 1(1): 97-103.

Staves MP, Mescher M, Shepherd VA, Brenner E, Van Volkenburgh E (2008) Symposia in Plant Neurobiology: A new venue for discussion of plant behavior and communication. Plant Science Bull. 54(2):56-57.

Staves MP, Whitsit K, Yeung E. and Wayne R (2005) The interaction between gravity and light in stimulating tropistic responses of Chara internodal cells. J of Gravitational Phys 12:158-160.

Staves MP, Faber A ands Wayne R (2003) Gravitropism of the statolith-free internodal cells of Chara coralline. J of Gravitational Phys 10:96-98.

Blackman SA, Miedema M, Yeung EC, Staves MP (2001) The effect of the tetrapeptide RGDS on somatic embryogenesis in Daucus carota L. cv Scarlet Nantes. Physiol Plant 112: 567-571.

Wayne R and Staves MP(1998) Connecting undergraduate plant cell biology students with the scientists about whom they learn: a bibliography. Am Biol Teacher 60:510-517.

Staves MP (1997) The effect of gravity on cytoplasmic streaming in Chara internodal cells. Planta 203: S79-S84.

Staves MP, Wayne R and Leopold AC (1997a) The effect of the density of the external medium on the gravity-induced polarity of cytoplasmic streaming in Chara corallina. American Journal of Botany 84:1516-1521.

Staves MP, Wayne R and Leopold AC (1997b) The effect of the density of the external medium on the gravitropic curvature of rice (Oryza sativa) roots. American Journal of Botany 84:1522-1529.

Recent Posters and Presentations:

Staves, MP and Heldt, L. Increasing the density of the external medium inhibits and reverses root gravitropism. International Symposium on Plant Neurobiology, Florence, Italy. 2009.

"The integrin binding peptide RGD induces programmed cell death in Daucus carota cells." Adams Jennifer, Staves MP, Blackman, Sheila.  Joint Annual Meeting of the American Society of Plant Biologists and the Sociedad Mexicana De Bioquimica, Merida, Mexico. 2008.

"The effect of intracellular and extracellular density on the gravicurvature of rice roots." Lindsey Heldt and Mark P. Staves.  West Michigan Undergraduate Science Research Conference, Grand Rapids, MI. 2008

“Responses to environmental stimuli in single internodal cells of Chara.”  International Society of Plant Neurobiology, Strbske Pleso, Slovakia. 2007

“The interaction of Gravitropism and Phototropism in single cells.” International Society for Gravitational Physiology. Cologne. 2005

“Gravitropism of statolith-free internodal cells of Chara: Implications for current models of gravisensing” International Society for Gravitational Physiology. Los Angeles. 2003

"The Effect of the Disintegrin Fragment RGD on Somatic Embryogenesis in Daucus Carota" American Society of Plant Physiology. 2000.

"The Requirement of Integrin-like Molecules for Somatic Embryogenesis in Daucus Carota L." International Botanical Congress. 1999.

"The Oligopeptides RGDS and YIGSR Inhibit Gravity Sensing in Chara Internodal Cells" American Society of Plant Physiology. 1996.

Scientific & Professional Societies

American Society of Plant Physiologists
American Society of Gravitational and Space Biology
Botanical Society of America
Michigan Academy of Science, Arts & Letters
New York Academy of Sciences
Sigma Xi Scientific Society

Page last modified August 6, 2010