Heather A. Owen
Heather A. Owen
Director - Electron Microscope Laboratory
Plant Cell Biology

B.S., University of Akron 1979
M.S. Miami University 1983
Ph.D. Miami University 1988
Postdoctoral Fellow Miami University, 1988-1994

Office: Lapham S397
Phone: 414-229-6816
FAX: 414-229-3926
Email: owenha@uwm.edu

Electron Microscope Laboratory

The primary focus of this facility is to serve the needs of the faculty, staff and students of the Department of Biological Sciences. In addition it is available to other researchers, both on campus and from the local community. As director, I manage the laboratory and teach formal courses that provide hands-on training in the use of the equipment for both undergraduate and graduate students.

TEM ImageTEM Arabidopsis WT Exine

Confocal Stack Image Arabidopsis Embryo

The laboratory houses an Hitachi S-4800 scanning electron microscope (SEM) and an Hitachi H-600 transmission electron microscope (TEM) that may also be operated in STEM and/or scanning mode. The SEM is equipped with an energy dispersive x-ray spectrometer (EDS) for elemental analysis. The facility also houses B & W darkrooms and specimen preparation equipment including ultramicrotomes, cryoultramicrotome, critical point dryers, vacuum evaporators, sputter coaters, cryofixation and freeze-substitution systems.

Research Interests
Although I began my research career studying the ultrastructure of lower land plants and algae, my main area of research for the past several years has been on pollen development in the higher plant Arabidopsis thaliana. This small weed has been referred to as the Drosophila of the plant world because its small genome size and rapid generation time make it ideally suited for genetic study. Several methods of mutagenesis have been developed for this species. In my laboratory I study male-sterile Arabidopsis lines that have been generated by one of these methods, T-DNA insertion mutagenesis.

Using a combination of electron, brightfield and fluorescence microscopy we describe how pollen development is altered in individual mutant lines. Then, since the mutant gene in each line has been simultaneously tagged and inactivated by the presence of the T-DNA, we use the presence of the T-DNA to isolate the gene that has been interrupted in each line using recombinant DNA techniques. Isolation and subsequent characterization of genes involved in various stages of pollen development will ultimately lead to a better understanding of this economically important developmental process in plants.

SEM Arabidopsis WT Pollen

Selected Publication

Liu, X., Huang, J., Wang, Y., Khanna, K., Zhixin, X., Owen, H.A. and Zhao, D. 2010. The role of floral organs in carpels, an Arabidopsis loss-of-function mutation in MicroRNA160a, in organogenesis and the mechanism regulating its expression. Plant J. 62,416-428.

Butzin, N. C., H. A. Owen, and M. L. P. Collins. 2010. A new system for heterologous expression of membrane proteins: Rhodospirillum rubrum. Prot. Exp. Purif., 70: 88-94. Online Publication

Wei, M., Sivadas, P., Owen, H.A., Mitchell, D.R. and Yang, P. 2010. Chlamydomonas mutants display reversible deficiencies in flagellar beating and axonemal assembly. Cell Motility and the Cytoskeleton. 67,71-80.

Liu, X., Huang, J., Parameswaran, S., Ito, T., Seubert, B., Auer, M., Rymaszewski, A., Jia, G., Owen, H.A. and Zhao D. 2009. The SPOROCYTELESS/NOZZLE gene is involved in controlling stamen identity in Arabidopsis. Plant Phys. 151:1401-1411.

Hull-Sanders HM, Johnson RH, Owen HA and Meyer GA. 2009. Effects of polyploidy on secondary chemistry, physiology, and performance of native and invasive genotypes of Solidago gigantea (Asteraceae). American Journal of Botany, 96: 762-770. Online Publication

Pradhan, B., Kohlmeyer, R.R., Setyowati, K., Owen, H.A. and Chen, J. 2009. Nanoengineering of advanced carbon nanotube-polymer composite infrared sensors. Carbon 47:1686-1692.

Hull-Sanders, H.M., R.H. Johnson, H.A. Owen and G.A. Meyer 2009. Influence of polyploidy on insect herbivores of native and invasive genotypes of Solidago gigantea (Asteraceae). Plant Signaling & Behavior, 4:893-895. Online Publication

Boateng KA, Yang X, Dong F, Owen HA and Makaroff CA. 2008. SWI1 is required for meiotic chromosome remodeling events. Molecular Plant, 1,620-633. Online Publication

Lovern SB, Owen HA, Klaper R. 2008. Electron microscopy of gold nanoparticle intake in the gut of Daphnia magna. Nanotoxicology, 2,43-48. Online Publication

Jia G, Liu X, Owen HA and Zhao D. 2008. Signaling of cell fate determination by the TPD1 small protein and EMS1 receptor kinase. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA., 105,2220-2225. Online Publication

Yang C, Owen HA and Yang P. 2008. Dimeric heat shock protein 40 binds radial spokes for generating coupled power strokes and recovery strokes of 9+2 flagella. J Cell Biol, 180,403-415. Online Publication

Goetsch M, Owen H, Goldman B and Forst S. 2006. Analysis of the PixA inclusion body protein of Xenorhabdus nematophila. J Bacteriol, 188,2706-2710. Online Publication

Fawley MW, Fawley KP and Owen HA. 2005. Diversity and ecology of small coccoid green algae from Lake Itasca, Minnesota, USA, including Meyerella planktonica, gen. et sp. nov. (Trebouxiophyceae, Chlorophyta). Phycologia, 44,35-48. Online Publication

Cristobal R, Edmiston CE, Runge-Samuelson CL, Owen HA, Firszt JB and Wackym PA. 2004. Fungal biofilm formation on cochlear implant hardware after antibiotic-induced fungal overgrowth within the middle ear. Pediatr Infect Dis J, 23,774-778. Online Publication

Brantner, C.A., Remsen, C.C., Owen, H.A., Buchholz, L.A. and Collins, M.L.P. 2002. Intracellular localization of the particulate methane monooxygenase and methanol dehydrogenase in Methylomicrobium album BG8. Arch. Microbiol. 178:59-64.

Paxson-Sowders, D.M., Dodrill, C.H., Owen, H.A. and Makaroff, C.A. 2001. DEX1, a Novel Plant Protein, is required For Exine Pattern Formation During Pollen Development in Arabidopsis. Plant Phys. 127:1739-1749.

Giese, D.R., Lamelas, F.J., Owen, H.A., Plass, R. and Gajdardziska-Josifovska, M. 2000. Atomic force microscopy and scanning electron microscopy study of MgO (110) surface faceting. Surface Science 457:326-336.

Lee, S., Owen, H.A., Prochaska, D.J. and Barnum, S.R. 2000. HSP16.6 is involved in the development of thermotolerance and thylakoid stability in the unicellular cyanobacterium, Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. Curr. Micro. 40:283-287.

Heimler, I., Rawlins, R.G., Owen, H.A. and Hutz, R.J. 1998. Dioxin perturbs, in a dose- and time- dependent fashion, steroid secretion, and induces apoptosis of human luteinized granulosa cells. Endocrinology 139:4373-4379.

Maiti, M.K., Krishnasamy, S.K., Owen, H.A. and Makaroff, C.A. 1997. Molecular characterization of glyoxalase II from Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant Mol. Bio. 35:471-481.

Paxson-Sowders, D.M., Owen, H.A. and Makaroff, C.A. 1997. A comparative ultrastructural analysis of exine pattern development in wild-type Arabidopsis and a mutant defective in pattern formation. Protoplasma 198:53-65.

Pierson BM, Owen HA, Feldman KA, and Makaroff CA. Characterization of three male-sterile mutants of Arabidopsis thaliana exhibiting alterations in meiosis. Sex. Plant Reprod. 9:1-16, 1996.

Owen HA and Makaroff CA. Ultrastructure of microsporogenesis and microgametogenesis in Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. ecotype Wassilewskija (Brassicaceae). Protoplasma 185:7-21, 1995.

Vaughn, K.C., Ligrone, R., Owen, H.A., Hasegawa, J., Campbell, E.O., Renzaglia, K.S. and Monge-Najera, J. 1992. The anthocerote chloroplast. New Phytol. 20:169-190.

Winner, R.W. and Owen, H.A. 1991. Toxicity of copper to Chlamydomonas reinhardtiii (Chlorophyceae) and Ceriodaphnia dubia (Crustacea) in relation to changes in water chemistry in a freshwater pond. Aquat. Toxicol. 21:157-170.

Garvey, J.E., Owen, H.A. and Winner, R.W. 1990. Toxicity of copper to the green alga, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, as affected by humic substances of terrestrial and freshwater origin. Aquat. Toxicol. 19:89-96.

Winner, R.W. and Owen, H.A. 1991. Seasonal variability in the sensitivity of freshwater phytoplankton communities to a chronic copper stress.

Smoker, J.A., Owen, H.A. and Barnum, S.R. 1990. Localization of proteins in filamentous cyanobacteria using immunogold electron microscopy. Methods Mol. Cell. Biol. 2:59-65.

Smoker JA, Owen HA, and Barnum SR. Immunogold localization of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase in the nitrogen-fixing cyanobacterium, Plectonema boryanum. Protoplasma 156:113-116, 1990.

Vaughn, K.C., Campbell, E.O., Hasagawa, J., Owen, H.A. and Renzaglia, K.S. 1990. The pyrenoid is the site of ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase accumulation in the hornwort chloroplast. Protoplasma 156:117-129.

Winner, R.W., Owen, H.A. and Moore, M.V. 1990. Seasonal variability in the sensitivity of freshwater lentic communities to a chronic copper stress. Aquat. Toxicol. 17:75-92.

Owen, H.A., Stewart, K.D. and Mattox, K.R. 1990. Fine structure of the flagellar apparatus of Uroglena americana (Chrysophyceae). J. Phycol. 26:142-149.

Owen, H.A., Mattox, K.R. and Stewart, K.D. 1990. Fine structure of the flagellar apparatus of Dinobryon cylindricum (Chrysophyceae). J. Phycol. 26:131-141.

Owen, H.A. 1989. Polystyrene specimen support films for the collection of ultrathin serial sections. J. Electron Microsc. Tech. 13:288-269.

Smoker, J.A., Owen, H.A., Lehnen Jr., L.P. and Barnum, S.R. 1989. Ultrastructure of the nitrogen-fixing, nonheterocystous cyanobacterium, Plectonema boryanum. Protoplasma 152:130-135.