Charles S. Gasser

Charles Gasser

Position Title
Professor Emeritus

  • Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, College of Biological Sciences
104A Briggs Hall

Research Interests

Molecular basis of plant development and evolution of development.

Research in my lab focuses on the genetic and molecular factors that govern the development and evolution of ovules, the precursors to seeds.  We study development primarily using Arabidopsis thaliana as a model system, but use a variety of other plants to study the evolution of ovule development.

Grad Group Affiliations

  • Plant Biology

Specialties / Focus

  • Cell and Developmental Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Gene Regulation
  • Model Plants
  • Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Genomics
  • Molecular Genetics
  • Plant Molecular Biology
  • Systematics and Evolutionary Biology

Honors and Awards

  • National Merit Four Year Undergraduate Scholarship, 1973-1977
  • USDA (Forest Service) Certificate of Merit, 1976
  • California State Graduate Fellowship, 1979-1980 (1980-1983 declined)
  • National Institutes of Health Predoctoral Trainee, 1980-1984
  • Monsanto Research Achievement Awards, 1987, 1988
  • NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, 1990 - 1994
  • Elected Fellow American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2002
  • College of Biological Sciences Faculty Teaching Award, 2005
  • U. C. Davis Academic Senate Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award, 2006
  • College of Biological Sciences Faculty Research Award, 2011
  • College of Biological Sciences Faculty Principles of Community Award, 2019

    Professional Societies

    • American Association for the Advancement of Science
    • International Society for Plant Molecular Biology
    • American Society of Plant Biologists
    • International Working Group on Flowering
    • Genetics Society of America


    • 1978 BS Botany University of California, Davis
    • 1985 PhD Biological Sciences Stanford University


    Yamada, T., Sasaki, Y., Sakata, K., and Gasser, C. S. (2019) Possible roles of BELL1 and Class III homeodomain-leucine zipper genes during integument evolution. Intl. J. Plant Sci.180:623-631. (

    Gasser, C. S., and Skinner, D. J. (2019) Development and evolution of the unique ovules of flowering plants. Curr. Topics Dev. Biol.131:373-399. (

    Simon, M. K.*, Skinner, D. J*., Gallagher, T. L., and Gasser, C. S. (2017) Integument development in Arabidopsis depends on interaction of YABBY protein INNER NO OUTER with co-activators and co-repressors. Genetics 207:1489-1500. *authors contributed equally to this work.

    Skinner, D. J., Brown, R. H., Kuzoff, R. K., and Gasser, C. S. (2016) Conservation of the role of INNER NO OUTER in development of unitegmic ovules of the Solanaceae despite a divergence in protein function. BMC Plant Biology 16:143 (DOI: 10.1186/s12870-016-0835-z, URL:

    Yamada, T., Sasaki, Y., Hashimoto, K., Nakajima, K., and Gasser, C. S.  (2016) CORONA, PHABULOSA, PHVOLUTA and BELL1 collaborate to confine WUSCHEL expression to the nucellus in Arabidopsis ovules. Development 143, 422-426 (doi:10.1242/dev.129833) 

    Simon, M. K., Williams, L. A., Brady-Passerini, K., Brown, R. H., and Gasser, C. S. (2012) Positive- and negative-acting regulatory elements contribute to the tissue-specific expression of INNER NO OUTER, a YABBY-type transcription factor gene in Arabidopsis BMC Plant Biol. 12:214

    Kelley, D. R., Arreola, A., Gallagher, T. L., and Gasser, C. S. (2012) ETTIN/AUXIN RESPONSE FACTOR3 physically interacts with KANADI proteins to form a functional complex essential for integument development and polarity determination in Arabidopsis. Development 139:1105-1109.

    Yamada, T., Yokota, S., Hirayama, Y., Imaichi, R., Kato, M., and Gasser, C. S. (2011) Ancestral expression patterns and evolutionary diversification of YABBY genes in angiosperms. Plant J. 67:26-36.

    Monfared, M. M., Simon, M. K., Meister, R. J., Roig-Villanova, I., Kooiker, M., Colombo, L., Fletcher, J. C., Gasser, C. S. (2011) Overlapping and antagonistic activities of BASIC PENTACYSTEINE genes affect a range of developmental processes in Arabidopsiss. Plant J. 66:1020-1031.

    Lora, J., Hormaza, J. I., Herrero, M., and Gasser, C. S. (2011) Seedless fruits and the disruption of a conserved genetic pathway in angiosperm ovule development. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (USA) 108: 5461–5465.

    Brown, R. H., Nickrent, D. L., and Gasser, C. S. (2010) Expression of ovule and integument-associated genes in reduced ovules of Santalales. Evol. Develop. 12:231-240.

    Skinner, D. J. and Gasser, C. S. (2009) Expression-based discovery of candidate ovule development regulators through transcriptional profiling of ovule mutants. BMC Plant Biol. 9:29.

    Kelley, D. M., Skinner, D. J., and Gasser, C. S. (2009) Roles of polarity determinants in ovule development. Plant J. 57: 1054-1064.

    Gallagher, T. L., and Gasser, C. S. (2008) Independence and interaction of regions of the INNER NO OUTER protein in growth control during ovule development. Plant Physiol. 147:306-315.

    McAbee, J. M., Hill, T. A., Skinner, D. J., Izhaki, A., Hauser, B. A., Meister, R. J., Gonehal, V., Meyerowitz, E. M., Bowman, J. L., and Gasser, C. S. (2006) ABERRANT TESTA SHAPE encodes a KANADI family member, linking polarity determination to separation and growth of Arabidopsis ovule integuments. Plant J. 46:522-531.

    Hill, T. A., Broadhvest, J., Kuzoff, R. K. and Gasser, C. S. (2006) Arabidopsis SHORT INTEGUMENTS 2 is a mitochondrial DAR GTPase. Genetics 174:707-718.

    McAbee, J. M., Kuzoff, R. K, and Gasser, C. S. (2005) Mechanisms of derived unitegmy among Impatiens species. Plant Cell 17:1674-1684.

    Meister, R.J., Oldenhof, H., Bowman, J. L., and Gasser, C. S., (2005) Multiple protein regions contribute to differential activities of YABBY proteins in reproductive development. Plant Physiol. 137:651-662.

    Skinner, D. J., Hill, T. A., and Gasser, C. S. (2004) Regulation of ovule development. Plant Cell 16:S32-S45.

    Meister, R. J., Williams, L. A., Monfared, M. M., Gallagher, T. L., Kraft, E. A., Nelson, C. G., and Gasser, C. S. (2004) Definition and interactions of a positive regulatory element of the Arabidopsis INNER NO OUTER promoter region. Plant J. 37: 426-438.

    Meister, R. J., Kotow, L. M. and Gasser, C. S. (2002) SUPERMAN attenuates positive INNER NO OUTER autoregulation to maintain polar development of Arabidopsis ovule outer integuments. Development 129:4281-4289.

    Skinner, D. J., Baker, S. C., Meister, R. J., Broadhvest, J., Schneitz, K., and Gasser, C. S. (2001) The Arabidopsis HUELLENLOS gene, which is essential for normal ovule development, encodes a mitochondrial ribosomal protein. Plant Cell 3:2719 - 2730.