Welcome to the Bowman Lab

MCD Biology, UCSC


Lab group, June 2013: left to right – Maria Draskovic, Elvira Contreras, Barry Bowman, Tiphanie Gardner, Abraham Gutierrez, Audrey Gauthier

Barry Bowman, Professor of MCD Biology

Our Research Focus -  What is the basic structure of eukaryotic cells?

In particular, we investigate:

  • The role of organelles in sequestering calcium
  • The cellular functions of the vacuolar ATPase, the primary proton pump in intracellular membranes
  • The structure and function of the vacuole, the lysosomal compartment in fungi and plants

Our experimental system is Neurospora crassa, a filamentous fungus widely used as a model organism. In 2009 we published our initial observations describing the structure and distribution of organelles in N. crassa.  These observations are summarized in a video that can be accessed at this site: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Salk9GPWFgg

Current Projects

We recently identified organelles in N. crassa, prevacuolar compartments, that apparently have not been previously described.  The vacuolar ATPase, tagged with green or red fluorescent protein (GFP or RFP) localizes to the membrane of spherical compartments that are only observed near the hyphal tip. These organelles are nearly as large as nuclei.

To determine the function of these organelles we have generated approximately 20 different GFP or RFP-tagged proteins to see if they are in the same compartments as the vacuolar ATPase.  We find that components of the vacuolar membrane, such as the calcium transporter are in the new organelle, but vacuolar hydrolases are not.  We have tagged all of the Rab-GTPases, proteins which help to direct organellar proteins to their correct destinations.  Rab-7, which is typically associated with vacuolar/lysosomal membranes, in abundant in the new organelle. 

One of the most interesting characteristics of the new organelle is that its shape can change within a few seconds.  It appears to form tubules that fuse with the tubular vacuolar network.

Recent Publications

The Plasma Membrane Proton Pump PMA-1 Is Incorporated into Distal Parts of the Hyphae Independently of the Spitzenkörper in Neurospora crassa.  Rosa A. Fajardo-Somera, Barry Bowman, Meritxell Riquelme 2013. Eucaryotic Cell 12:1097. [PDF]

The pmr Gene, Encoding a Ca+2-ATPase, Is Required for Calcium and Manganese Homeostasis and Normal Development of Hyphae and Conidia in Neurospora crassa.  Barry J. Bowman, Stephen Abreu, Jessica K. Johl, and Emma Jean Bowman. 2012.  Eucaryotic Cell  11:1362. [PDF]

Role of Four Calcium Transport Proteins, Encoded by nca-1, nca-2,nca-3, and cax, in Maintaining Intracellular Calcium Levels in Neurospora crassa.  Barry J. Bowman, Stephen Abreu, Emilio Margolles-Clark, Marija Draskovic, and Emma Jean Bowman. 2011. Eucaryotic Cell  10:654. [PDF]

Architecture and development of the Neurospora crassa hypha - a model cell for polarized growth. Fungal Biology. Riquelme, M., Yarden, O., Bartnicki-Garcia, S., Bowman, B., Castro-Longoria, E., Free, S.J., Fleißner, A., Freitag, M., Lew, R.R., Mourino-Perez, R., Plamann, M., Rasmussen, Richthammer, C., Roberson, R.W., Sanchez-Leon, E., Seiler, S., Watters, M.K. 2011 115:446-474. [PDF]

Vacuoles in Filamentous Fungi, in Cellular and Molecular Biology of Filamentous Fungi. Bowman, E.J. and Bowman, B.J. 2010, ASM Press, p179-190. [PDF]

Structure and Distribution of Organelles and Cellular Location of Calcium Transporters in Neurospora crassa.  Barry J. Bowman, Marija Draskovic, Michael Freitag, and Emma Jean Bowman. 2009. Eucaryotic Cell 8:1845. [PDF]

A Model for the Proteolipid Ring and Bafilomycin/Concanamycin Binding Site in the Vacuolar ATPase of Neurospora crassa. Barry J. Bowman, Mary E. McCall, Robert Baertsch and Emma Jean Bowman 2006.  J. Biol. Chem. 281 (42):31885-31893. [PDF]

Analysis of strains with mutations in six genes encoding subunits of the V-ATPase: Eucaryotes differ in the composition of the Vo sector of the enzyme . Christopher Chavez, Emma Jean Bowman, Jack C. Reidling, Kimberly H. Haw and Barry J. Bowman 2006.  J. Biol. Chem  281(37):27052-27062. [PDF]

V-ATPases as Drug Targets Bowman, E.J. and Bowman, B.J. 2005. J. Bioenergetics and Biomembranes, 37:431-435. [PDF]



Related Links:   Dept. of MCD Biology     UCSC Biomedical Research

Contact Barry Bowman for comments and corrections. Last reviewed 8/20/14