Dr. Anne B. Britt

Anne Britt

Position Title

Department of Plant Biology, College of Biological Sciences

2249 Life Sciences

Research Interests

Genetics of DNA repair and mutagenesis in the higher plant Arabidopsis. How plants repair and/or tolerate DNA damage generated by chemicals, UV light, and gamma radiation. Processes of genetic recombination, in meiotic and mitotic cells. Transcriptional regulation of damage response. Role of programmed cell death in plant recovery from double strand breaks. Gene editing and CRSIPR technologies.  Acceleration of plant breeding through formation of doubled haploids.

Cell-type specificity of DNA damage response

We are interested in strategies by which different cell types, with different roles in the development in a complex organism, vary in their responses to DNA damage.  We study both immediate responses to damage (the decision to arrest the cell cycle, die, or simply repair the damage) and the longer-term developmental consequences of these decisions.

Production of doubled haploids

Much of modern plant breeding depends on the production of inbred, true-breeding lines that are then crossed to produce elite hybrids.  Production of doubled haploids (plants derived from a single parental gamete) allows breeders to produce true-breeding lines in a single generation.  Using a approach involving the modification of centromeres, originally discovered by Simon Chan and Ravi Maruthachalam, we are developing technogies for the induction of doubled haploids in a wide variety of crops.

Grad Group Affiliations

  • Integrative Genetics and Genomics
  • Plant Biology

Specialties / Focus

  • Cell and Developmental Biology
  • Chromosome Biology
  • Environmental and Integrative Biology
  • Model Plants
  • Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Genomics
  • Gene editing


  • BIS2A

Professional Societies

  • Genetics Society of America
  • American Society of Plant Biologists
  • Maize Genetics Society


  • 1981 BS Biology Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • 1986 PhD Biochemistry University of California, Berkeley


"SOG1 links DNA damage response to organ regeneration" Johnson, RA, Phillip Conklin, PA, Tjahjadi, M, Missirian, V., Toal, T, Brady, SM, Britt, AB, Plant Physiology doi/10.1104/pp.17.01274 176:1665 (2018)

“Point mutations in centromeric histone induce post-zygotic incompatibility and uniparental inheritance” Sundaram Kuppu, Ek Han Tan, Hanh Nguyen, Andrea Rodgers, Luca Comai, Simon W. L. Chan, and Anne B. Britt Plos Genetics DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1005494 (2015)

“A haploid genetics toolbox for Arabidopsis thaliana" Maruthachalam, R., Marimuthu, M., Tan, E., Shamoni Maheshwari, S. Henry, I., Marin-Rodriguez, B., Urtecho, G., Tan, I., Thornhill, K., Zhu, F., Panoli, A., Sundaresan, V., Britt, A., Comai, L. and Chan, S. Nature Comm. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms6334 (2014)

“High atomic weight, high-energy radiation (HZE) induces transcriptional responses shared with conven­tional stresses in addition to a core “DSB” response specific to clastogenic treatments” Missirian, V., Conklin, P., Culligan, K., Huefner, N., and Britt, A. Frontiers in Plant Science doi: 10.3389/fpls.2014.00364 (2014)

“Genomic stability in response to high versus low linear energy transfer radiation in Arabidopsis thaliana”   Huefner ND, Kaoru Yoshiyama K, JD, Phillip A. Conklin PA, and Britt AB Frontiers in Plant Science 5:206 doi:  10.3389/fpls.2014.00206 (2014)

“The Arabidopsis SIAMESE-RELATED cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors SMR5 and SMR7 regulate the DNA damage checkpoint in response to reactive oxygen species” Yi D., Alvim Kamei C. L., Cools T., Vanderauwera S., Takahashi N., Okushima Y., Eekhout T., Yoshiyama K. O., Larkin J., Van den Daele H., Conklin P., Britt A., Umeda M., De Veylder L. Plant Cell 26 296-309 (2014)

"The role of SOG1, a plant-specific transcriptional regulator, in the DNA damage response" Yoshiyama K. O., Kimura S., Maki H., Britt A. B., Umeda M. Plant Signal Behav 9, e28889 (2014)

Ming R., et al. Genome of the long-living sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn.). Genome Biol 14 (5), R41 this is an F1000 cited publication (2013)

“CK2-defective Arabidopsis plants exhibit enhanced double-strand break repair rates and reduced survival after exposure to ionizing radiation” Moreno-Romero J, Armengot L, Marques-Bueno M, Britt A, and CM Martınez Plant J. 71 (4) 627-638 (2012)

“Preferential repair of the transcribed DNA strand in plants. “  Fidantsef AL and Britt AB (2012) Front. Plant Sci. 2:105. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2011.00105  (2012)

"Breadth by depth: Expanding our understanding of the repair of transposon-induced DNA double strand breaks via deep-sequencing" N.D.Huefner, Y. Mizuno, C.F.Weil, I. Korf, A.B. Britt DNA Repair, (2011).

A shared DNA-damage-response pathway for induction of stem-cell death by UV-B and by gamma irradiation” T. Furukawa, M.J. Curtis, C. Tominey; Y. H. Duong, B. W. Wilcox, D.Aggoune; J. B. Hays; A. B Britt, DNA Repair, 9 940-948 (2010).

Suppressor of gamma response 1 (SOG1) encodes a putative transcription factor governing multiple responses to DNA damage. K. Yoshiyama, P.A. Conklin, N. D. Huefner, A.B. Britt. Proc Natl Acad Sci (2009) 106(31):12843-8.

Both ATM and ATR promote the efficient and accurate processing of programmed meiotic double-strand breaks. K. M. Culligan, A. B. Britt. Plant Journal (2008) 55(4):629-38.

ATR and ATM play distinct roles in response to ionizing radiation K. M. Culligan, C. E. Robertson, J. Foreman, P. Doerner, and A. B. Britt, Plant Journal, 48 947-961 (2006).

Tissue-specific regulation of cell-cycle responses to DNA damage in Arabidopsis seedlings E. Hefner, N. Huefner, and A. B. Britt, DNA Repair, 5 102-110 (2006).

Ionizing radiation-dependent gamma-H2AX focus formation requires ATM and ATR. J. D. Friesner, B. Liu, K. M. Culligan, and A. B. Britt, Molecular Biology of the Cell,16 2566-2576 (2005).

ATR regulates a G2-phase cell cycle checkpoint in Arabidopsis thaliana K. M. Culligan and A. B. Britt, Plant Cell, 16 1091-1104 (2004).

A DNA damage-induced checkpoint in plants. S. B. Preuss and A. B. Britt, Genetics, 164:323-334 (2003).

Ku80 and DNA Ligase IV deficient plants are sensitive to ionizing radiation and defective in T-DNA integration. J. D. Friesner and A. B. Britt, Plant Journal, 34 427-440 (2003).

Arabidopsis mutants sensitive to gamma radiation include the homolog of the human repair gene ERCC1 E. A. Hefner, S. B. Preuss, and A. B. Britt, J. Exp. Bot., 54 669-680 (2003).

Reengineering plant transformation A. B. Britt and G. May, Trends in Plant Sciences,8 90-95.