Luca Comai

Curriculum Vitae


Ph.D., Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis, 1980

M.S., Plant Pathology, Washington State University, 1978

B.S. (equivalent), Agricultural Sciences, University of Bologna, 1976


2006 -pres. Professor, Genome Center and Section of Plant Biology, UC Davis, Davis

2001-2006 Professor, Department of Biology, University of Washington, Seattle

1997-1998 Visiting Scientist, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle

1992-2001 Associate Professor, Department of Botany, University of Washington, Seattle

1990-1992 Associate Professor wot, Department of Botany, University of Washington, Seattle

1985-1989 Senior Scientist, Calgene, Inc., Davis

1981-1985 Principal Scientist, Calgene, Inc., Davis

1980-1981 Postdoctoral Research Associate. Dept. of Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis

1978-1980 Research Assistant, Dept. of Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis

1977-1978 Research Assistant, Dept. of Plant Pathology, Washington State University, Pullman

1953-1953 Sperm cell (successful)

1926-1953 Oocyte


2004 USDA-NRICGP, Functional Genomics of Crop Plants Panel Manager 2003- Member, Seattle Cancer Alliance 2002- 2003 USDA-NRICGP, Genetics Mechanisms Panel Manager 2002- Plant Molecular Biology, Associate Editor 2001- 2002 USDA-NRICGP, Genetics Mechanisms and Genome Panel Manager 2000- 2005 Member of “Comitato Indirizzo e Valutazione Ricerca”, Province of Trento, Italy 2005- Member of “Comitato Tecnico-scientifico per la ricerca”, Province of Trento, Italy

List (may not be complete or up to date)

Pubmed report

  1. Missirian V, Comai L, Filkov V. Statistical mutation calling from sequenced overlapping DNA pools in TILLING experiments. BMC Bioinformatics. 2011;12:287. Published 2011 Jul 14. doi:10.1186/1471-2105-12-287
  2. Burkart-Waco D, Josefsson C, Dilkes B, et al. Hybrid incompatibility in Arabidopsis is determined by a multiple-locus genetic network. Plant Physiol. 2012;158(2):801‐812. doi:10.1104/pp.111.188706
  3. Tsai H, Howell T, Nitcher R, et al. Discovery of rare mutations in populations: TILLING by sequencing. Plant Physiol. 2011;156(3):1257‐1268. doi:10.1104/pp.110.169748
  4. Chang PL, Dilkes BP, McMahon M, Comai L, Nuzhdin SV. Homoeolog-specific retention and use in allotetraploid Arabidopsis suecica depends on parent of origin and network partners. Genome Biol. 2010;11(12):R125. doi:10.1186/gb-2010-11-12-r125
  5. Ravi M, Kwong PN, Menorca RM, et al. The rapidly evolving centromere-specific histone has stringent functional requirements in Arabidopsis thaliana. Genetics. 2010;186(2):461‐471. doi:10.1534/genetics.110.120337
  6. Hutcheon C, Ditt RF, Beilstein M, et al. Polyploid genome of Camelina sativa revealed by isolation of fatty acid synthesis genes. BMC Plant Biol. 2010;10:233. Published 2010 Oct 27. doi:10.1186/1471-2229-10-233
  7. Henry IM, Dilkes BP, Miller ES, Burkart-Waco D, Comai L. Phenotypic consequences of aneuploidy in Arabidopsis thaliana. Genetics. 2010;186(4):1231‐1245. doi:10.1534/genetics.110.121079
  8. Henry IM, Dilkes BP, Tyagi AP, Lin HY, Comai L. Dosage and parent-of-origin effects shaping aneuploid swarms in A. thaliana. Heredity (Edinb). 2009;103(6):458‐468. doi:10.1038/hdy.2009.81
  9. Pignatta D, Comai L. Parental squabbles and genome expression: lessons from the polyploids. J Biol. 2009;8(4):43. doi:10.1186/jbiol140
  10. Walia H, Josefsson C, Dilkes B, Kirkbride R, Harada J, Comai L. Dosage-dependent deregulation of an AGAMOUS-LIKE gene cluster contributes to interspecific incompatibility. Curr Biol. 2009;19(13):1128‐1132. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2009.05.068
  11. Uauy C, Paraiso F, Colasuonno P, et al. A modified TILLING approach to detect induced mutations in tetraploid and hexaploid wheat. BMC Plant Biol. 2009;9:115. Published 2009 Aug 28. doi:10.1186/1471-2229-9-115
  12. Dilkes BP, Spielman M, Weizbauer R, et al. The maternally expressed WRKY transcription factor TTG2 controls lethality in interploidy crosses of Arabidopsis. PLoS Biol. 2008;6(12):2707‐2720. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0060308
  13. Pignatta D, Dilkes B, Wroblewski T, Michelmore RW, Comai L. Transgene-induced gene silencing is not affected by a change in ploidy level. PLoS One. 2008;3(8):e3061. Published 2008 Aug 26. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0003061
  14. Davison J, Tyagi A, Comai L. Large-scale polymorphism of heterochromatic repeats in the DNA of Arabidopsis thaliana. BMC Plant Biol. 2007;7:44. Published 2007 Aug 16. doi:10.1186/1471-2229-7-44
  15. Comai L. Human genetics: human genetics discovering ourselves. Heredity (Edinb). 2007;99(5):481‐482. doi:10.1038/sj.hdy.6801060
  16. Henry IM, Dilkes BP, Comai L. Genetic basis for dosage sensitivity in Arabidopsis thaliana. PLoS Genet. 2007;3(4):e70. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.0030070
  17. Henry IM, Dilkes BP, Comai L. Molecular karyotyping and aneuploidy detection in Arabidopsis thaliana using quantitative fluorescent polymerase chain reaction. Plant J. 2006;48(2):307‐319. doi:10.1111/j.1365-313X.2006.02871.x
  18. Till BJ, Zerr T, Comai L, Henikoff S. A protocol for TILLING and Ecotilling in plants and animals. Nat Protoc. 2006;1(5):2465‐2477. doi:10.1038/nprot.2006.329
  19. Till BJ, Cooper J, Tai TH, et al. Discovery of chemically induced mutations in rice by TILLING. BMC Plant Biol. 2007;7:19. Published 2007 Apr 11. doi:10.1186/1471-2229-7-19
  20. Till BJ, Zerr T, Bowers E, Greene EA, Comai L, Henikoff S. High-throughput discovery of rare human nucleotide polymorphisms by Ecotilling [published correction appears in Nucleic Acids Res. 2006;34(18):5352]. Nucleic Acids Res. 2006;34(13):e99. Published 2006 Aug 7. doi:10.1093/nar/gkl479
  21. Josefsson C, Dilkes B, Comai L. Parent-dependent loss of gene silencing during interspecies hybridization. Curr Biol. 2006;16(13):1322‐1328. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2006.05.045
  22. Ditt RF, Kerr KF, de Figueiredo P, Delrow J, Comai L, Nester EW. The Arabidopsis thaliana transcriptome in response to Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Mol Plant Microbe Interact. 2006;19(6):665‐681. doi:10.1094/MPMI-19-0665
  23. Comai L, Henikoff S. TILLING: practical single-nucleotide mutation discovery. Plant J. 2006;45(4):684‐694. doi:10.1111/j.1365-313X.2006.02670.x
  24. Wang J, Tian L, Lee HS, et al. Genomewide nonadditive gene regulation in Arabidopsis allotetraploids. Genetics. 2006;172(1):507‐517. doi:10.1534/genetics.105.047894
  25. Till BJ, Colbert T, Codomo C, et al. High-throughput TILLING for Arabidopsis. Methods Mol Biol. 2006;323:127‐135. doi:10.1385/1-59745-003-0:127
  26. Li B, Conway N, Navarro S, Comai L, Comai L. A conserved and species-specific functional interaction between the Werner syndrome-like exonuclease atWEX and the Ku heterodimer in Arabidopsis. Nucleic Acids Res. 2005;33(21):6861‐6867. Published 2005 Dec 7. doi:10.1093/nar/gki984
  27. Comai L. The advantages and disadvantages of being polyploid. Nat Rev Genet. 2005;6(11):836‐846. doi:10.1038/nrg1711
  28. Comai L, Cartwright RA. A toxic mutator and selection alternative to the non-Mendelian RNA cache hypothesis for hothead reversion. Plant Cell. 2005;17(11):2856‐2858. doi:10.1105/tpc.105.036293
  29. Henry IM, Dilkes BP, Young K, Watson B, Wu H, Comai L. Aneuploidy and genetic variation in the Arabidopsis thaliana triploid response. Genetics. 2005;170(4):1979‐1988. doi:10.1534/genetics.104.037788
  30. Ditt RF, Nester E, Comai L. The plant cell defense and Agrobacterium tumefaciens. FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2005;247(2):207‐213. doi:10.1016/j.femsle.2005.05.010
  31. Enns LC, Kanaoka MM, Torii KU, Comai L, Okada K, Cleland RE. Two callose synthases, GSL1 and GSL5, play an essential and redundant role in plant and pollen development and in fertility. Plant Mol Biol. 2005;58(3):333‐349. doi:10.1007/s11103-005-4526-7
  32. Wang J, Lee JJ, Tian L, et al. Methods for genome-wide analysis of gene expression changes in polyploids. Methods Enzymol. 2005;395:570‐596. doi:10.1016/S0076-6879(05)95030-1
  33. Madlung A, Tyagi AP, Watson B, et al. Genomic changes in synthetic Arabidopsis polyploids. Plant J. 2005;41(2):221‐230. doi:10.1111/j.1365-313X.2004.02297.x
  34. Pontes O, Neves N, Silva M, et al. Chromosomal locus rearrangements are a rapid response to formation of the allotetraploid Arabidopsis suecica genome. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004;101(52):18240‐18245. doi:10.1073/pnas.0407258102
  35. Dilkes BP, Comai L. A differential dosage hypothesis for parental effects in seed development. Plant Cell. 2004;16(12):3174‐3180. doi:10.1105/tpc.104.161230
  36. Madlung A, Comai L. The effect of stress on genome regulation and structure. Ann Bot. 2004;94(4):481‐495. doi:10.1093/aob/mch172
  37. Wang J, Tian L, Madlung A, et al. Stochastic and epigenetic changes of gene expression in Arabidopsis polyploids. Genetics. 2004;167(4):1961‐1973. doi:10.1534/genetics.104.027896
  38. Comai L, Li B. The Werner syndrome protein at the crossroads of DNA repair and apoptosis. Mech Ageing Dev. 2004;125(8):521‐528. doi:10.1016/j.mad.2004.06.004
  39. Till BJ, Reynolds SH, Weil C, et al. Discovery of induced point mutations in maize genes by TILLING. BMC Plant Biol. 2004;4:12. Published 2004 Jul 28. doi:10.1186/1471-2229-4-12
  40. Henikoff S, Till BJ, Comai L. TILLING. Traditional mutagenesis meets functional genomics. Plant Physiol. 2004;135(2):630‐636. doi:10.1104/pp.104.041061
  41. Till BJ, Burtner C, Comai L, Henikoff S. Mismatch cleavage by single-strand specific nucleases. Nucleic Acids Res. 2004;32(8):2632‐2641. Published 2004 May 11. doi:10.1093/nar/gkh599
  42. Comai L, Young K, Till BJ, et al. Efficient discovery of DNA polymorphisms in natural populations by Ecotilling. Plant J. 2004;37(5):778‐786. doi:10.1111/j.0960-7412.2003.01999.x
  43. Lee HS, Wang J, Tian L, et al. Sensitivity of 70-mer oligonucleotides and cDNAs for microarray analysis of gene expression in Arabidopsis and its related species. Plant Biotechnol J. 2004;2(1):45‐57. doi:10.1046/j.1467-7652.2003.00048.x
  44. Comai L, Madlung A, Josefsson C, Tyagi A. Do the different parental ‘heteromes’ cause genomic shock in newly formed allopolyploids?. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2003;358(1434):1149‐1155. doi:10.1098/rstb.2003.1305
  45. Greene EA, Codomo CA, Taylor NE, et al. Spectrum of chemically induced mutations from a large-scale reverse-genetic screen in Arabidopsis. Genetics. 2003;164(2):731‐740.
  46. Till BJ, Reynolds SH, Greene EA, et al. Large-scale discovery of induced point mutations with high-throughput TILLING. Genome Res. 2003;13(3):524‐530. doi:10.1101/gr.977903
  47. Osborn TC, Pires JC, Birchler JA, et al. Understanding mechanisms of novel gene expression in polyploids. Trends Genet. 2003;19(3):141‐147. doi:10.1016/s0168-9525(03)00015-5
  48. Henikoff S, Comai L. Single-nucleotide mutations for plant functional genomics. Annu Rev Plant Biol. 2003;54:375‐401. doi:10.1146/annurev.arplant.54.031902.135009
  49. Comai L, Tyagi AP, Lysak MA. FISH analysis of meiosis in Arabidopsis allopolyploids. Chromosome Res. 2003;11(3):217‐226. doi:10.1023/a:1022883709060
  50. Till BJ, Colbert T, Tompa R, et al. High-throughput TILLING for functional genomics. Methods Mol Biol. 2003;236:205‐220. doi:10.1385/1-59259-413-1:205
  51. Madlung A, Masuelli RW, Watson B, Reynolds SH, Davison J, Comai L. Remodeling of DNA methylation and phenotypic and transcriptional changes in synthetic Arabidopsis allotetraploids. Plant Physiol. 2002;129(2):733‐746. doi:10.1104/pp.003095
  52. Talbert PB, Masuelli R, Tyagi AP, Comai L, Henikoff S. Centromeric localization and adaptive evolution of an Arabidopsis histone H3 variant. Plant Cell. 2002;14(5):1053‐1066. doi:10.1105/tpc.010425
  53. Holmes-Davis R, Comai L. The matrix attachment regions (MARs) associated with the Heat Shock Cognate 80 gene ( HSC80) of tomato represent specific regulatory elements. Mol Genet Genomics. 2002;266(5):891‐898. doi:10.1007/s00438-001-0613-x
  54. Ditt RF, Nester EW, Comai L. Plant gene expression response to Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2001;98(19):10954‐10959. doi:10.1073/pnas.191383498
  55. Colbert T, Till BJ, Tompa R, et al. High-throughput screening for induced point mutations. Plant Physiol. 2001;126(2):480‐484. doi:10.1104/pp.126.2.480
  56. Comai L, Tyagi AP, Winter K, et al. Phenotypic instability and rapid gene silencing in newly formed arabidopsis allotetraploids. Plant Cell. 2000;12(9):1551‐1568. doi:10.1105/tpc.12.9.1551
  57. Comai L. Genetic and epigenetic interactions in allopolyploid plants. Plant Mol Biol. 2000;43(2-3):387‐399. doi:10.1023/a:1006480722854
  58. McCallum CM, Comai L, Greene EA, Henikoff S. Targeting induced local lesions IN genomes (TILLING) for plant functional genomics. Plant Physiol. 2000;123(2):439‐442. doi:10.1104/pp.123.2.439
  59. McCallum CM, Comai L, Greene EA, Henikoff S. Targeted screening for induced mutations. Nat Biotechnol. 2000;18(4):455‐457. doi:10.1038/74542
  60. Deng W, Chen L, Peng WT, et al. VirE1 is a specific molecular chaperone for the exported single-stranded-DNA-binding protein VirE2 in Agrobacterium. Mol Microbiol. 1999;31(6):1795‐1807. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2958.1999.01316.x
  61. Chen ZJ, Comai L, Pikaard CS. Gene dosage and stochastic effects determine the severity and direction of uniparental ribosomal RNA gene silencing (nucleolar dominance) in Arabidopsis allopolyploids. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1998;95(25):14891‐14896. doi:10.1073/pnas.95.25.14891
  62. Deng W, Chen L, Wood DW, et al. Agrobacterium VirD2 protein interacts with plant host cyclophilins. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1998;95(12):7040‐7045. doi:10.1073/pnas.95.12.7040
  63. Henikoff S, Comai L. Trans-sensing effects: the ups and downs of being together. Cell. 1998;93(3):329‐332. doi:10.1016/s0092-8674(00)81161-7
  64. Henikoff S, Comai L. A DNA methyltransferase homolog with a chromodomain exists in multiple polymorphic forms in Arabidopsis. Genetics. 1998;149(1):307‐318.
  65. Chinn AM, Comai L. The heat shock cognate 80 gene of tomato is flanked by matrix attachment regions. Plant Mol Biol. 1996;32(5):959‐968. doi:10.1007/BF00020492
  66. Chinn AM, Payne SR, Comai L. Variegation and silencing of the Heat Shock Cognate 80 gene are relieved by a bipartite downstream regulatory element. Plant J. 1996;9(3):325‐339. doi:10.1046/j.1365-313x.1996.09030325.x
  67. Kovacic RT, Comai L, Bendich AJ. Protection of megabase DNA from shearing. Nucleic Acids Res. 1995;23(19):3999‐4000. doi:10.1093/nar/23.19.3999
  68. Talbert PB, Adler HT, Parks DW, Comai L. The REVOLUTA gene is necessary for apical meristem development and for limiting cell divisions in the leaves and stems of Arabidopsis thaliana. Development. 1995;121(9):2723‐2735.
  69. Tanimoto EY, Rost TL, Comai L. DNA Replication-Dependent Histone H2A mRNA Expression in Pea Root Tips. Plant Physiol. 1993;103(4):1291‐1297. doi:10.1104/pp.103.4.1291
  70. Comai L. Impact of plant genetic engineering on foods and nutrition. Annu Rev Nutr. 1993;13:191‐215. doi:10.1146/
  71. Koning AJ, Rose R, Comai L. Developmental expression of tomato heat-shock cognate protein 80. Plant Physiol. 1992;100(2):801‐811. doi:10.1104/pp.100.2.801
  72. Koning A, Jones A, Fillatti JJ, Comai L, Lassner MW. Arrest of embryo development in Brassica napus mediated by modified Pseudomonas aeruginosa exotoxin A. Plant Mol Biol. 1992;18(2):247‐258. doi:10.1007/BF00034953
  73. Comai L, Matsudaira KL, Heupel RC, Dietrich RA, Harada JJ. Expression of a Brassica napus Malate Synthase Gene in Transgenic Tomato Plants during the Transition from Late Embryogeny to Germination. Plant Physiol. 1992;98(1):53‐61. doi:10.1104/pp.98.1.53
  74. Lassner MW, Jones A, Daubert S, Comai L. Targeting of T7 RNA polymerase to tobacco nuclei mediated by an SV40 nuclear location signal. Plant Mol Biol. 1991;17(2):229‐234. doi:10.1007/BF00039497
  75. Koning AJ, Tanimoto EY, Kiehne K, Rost T, Comai L. Cell-specific expression of plant histone H2A genes. Plant Cell. 1991;3(7):657‐665. doi:10.1105/tpc.3.7.657
  76. Comai L, Moran P, Maslyar D. Novel and useful properties of a chimeric plant promoter combining CaMV 35S and MAS elements. Plant Mol Biol. 1990;15(3):373‐381. doi:10.1007/BF00019155
  77. Comai L, Larson-Kelly N, Kiser J, et al. Chloroplast transport of a ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase small subunit-5-enolpyruvyl 3-phosphoshikimate synthase chimeric protein requires part of the mature small subunit in addition to the transit peptide. J Biol Chem. 1988;263(29):15104‐15109.
  78. Stalker DM, Hiatt WR, Comai L. A single amino acid substitution in the enzyme 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase confers resistance to the herbicide glyphosate. J Biol Chem. 1985;260(8):4724‐4728.
  79. Comai L, Schilling-Cordaro C, Mergia A, Houck CM. A new technique for genetic engineering of Agrobacterium Ti plasmid. Plasmid. 1983;10(1):21‐30. doi:10.1016/0147-619x(83)90054-9
  80. Comai L, Kosuge T. Transposable element that causes mutations in a plant pathogenic Pseudomonas sp. J Bacteriol. 1983;154(3):1162‐1167.
  81. Comai L, Kosuge T. Cloning characterization of iaaM, a virulence determinant of Pseudomonas savastanoi. J Bacteriol. 1982;149(1):40‐46.
  82. Comai L, Kosuge T. Involvement of plasmid deoxyribonucleic acid in indoleacetic acid synthesis in Pseudomonas savastanoi. J Bacteriol. 1980;143(2):950‐957.
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