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Brad Binder

Associate Professor



Most of the research in the Binder lab focuses on ethylene signal transduction and signaling cross-talk. Ethylene is a gas produced by plants that regulates and influences many critical physiological and developmental processes making it of agricultural, horticultural and economic importance to understand its mode of action and to more fully understand how it affects plants. Ethylene receptors were the first plant hormone receptors cloned and a great deal is known about the signal transduction pathway. However there are still gaps in our understanding of this pathway. One focus of research is on the structure and function of the ethylene binding domain. Some of our goals with this are to characterize the ethylene binding pocket and define the conformational changes that occur when ethylene binds to the receptor. Another focus is on the signal output of the receptors. While the receptors have been shown to have protein kinase activity, this activity is not crucial for receptor function. Thus, we are working towards defining the output of the receptors. This is complicated by our observation that there are likely to be multiple outputs from the receptors. A third focus is on better defining components down-stream of the receptors and interactions with other hormone signaling pathways. Finally, we are examining ethylene binding proteins that are found in a subset of cyanobacteria with the goal of better understanding receptor function and evolution. To pursue these projects we combine biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics, physiology and time-lapse imaging of growing plants. This multifaceted approach is allowing us to gain a better understanding of ethylene signal transduction and the complexity of interactions between ethylene and other signaling systems in plants.


  • Ph.D. Neurosciences, University of Wisconsin—Madison (1989)
  • M.S. Zoology, The George Washington University (1982)
  • B.S. Zoology, The George Washington University (1979)


Lacey RF, Binder BM. (2014) How plants sense ethylene gas--the ethylene receptors. J Inorg Biochem. Apr;133:58-62. doi: 10.1016/j.jinorgbio.2014.01.006. Epub 2014 Jan 21.

Wilson RL, Bakshi A, Binder BM. (2014) Loss of the ETR1 ethylene receptor reduces the inhibitory effect of far-red light and darkness on seed germination of Arabidopsis thaliana. Front Plant Sci. Aug 28;5:433. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2014.00433. eCollection 2014.

Wilson RL, Kim H, Bakshi A, Binder BM. (2014) The Ethylene Receptors ETHYLENE RESPONSE1 and ETHYLENE RESPONSE2 Have Contrasting Roles in Seed Germination of Arabidopsis during Salt Stress. Plant Physiol. May 12;165(3):1353-1366. [Epub ahead of print]

Binder BM, Rodriguez FI, Bleecker AB (2010) The copper transporter RESPONSIVE-TO-ANTAGONIST1 (RAN1) is essential for the biogenesis of ethylene receptors in Arabidopsis. Journal of Biological Chemistry. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M110.170027

Pirrung MC, Bleecker AB, Inoue Y, Rodriguez FI, Sugawara N, Wada T, Zou Y, Binder BM (2008) Ethylene Receptor Antagonists: Strained Alkenes Are Necessary But Not Sufficient. Chemistry and Biology 15: 313-321.

Binder BM, Rodriguez FI, Bleecker AB, Patterson SE (2007) The Effects of Group 11 Transition Metals, Including Gold, on Ethylene Binding to the ETR1 Receptor and Growth of Arabidopsis thaliana. FEBS Letters 581: 5105-5109.

Binder BM, Walker JM, Gagne JM, Emborg TJ, Hemmann G, Bleecker AB, Vierstra RD (2007) The Arabidopsis EIN3-Binding F-Box Proteins, EBF1 and 2 Have Distinct but Overlapping Roles in Regulating Ethylene Signaling. The Plant Cell 19: 509-523.

Wang W, Esch JE, Shiu S-H, Agula H, Binder BM, Chang C, Patterson SE, Bleecker AB (2006) Identification of Important Regions for Ethylene Binding and Signaling in the Transmembrane Domain of the ETR1 Ethylene Receptor of Arabidopsis The Plant Cell 18: 3429-03442.

Binder BM, O’Malley RC, Wang W, Zutz TC, Bleecker AB (2006) Ethylene Stimulates Nutations that are Dependent on the ETR1 Receptor. Plant Physiology 142: 1690-1700.

Binder BM, O'Malley RC, Moore JM, Parks BM, Spalding EP, Bleecker AB (2004) Seedling Growth Response and Recovery to Ethylene: A Kinetic Analysis. Plant Physiology 136: 2913-2920.  

Binder BM, Mortimore LA, Stepanova AN, Ecker JR, Bleecker AB (2004) Short Term Growth Responses to Ethylene in Arabidopsis Seedlings Are EIN3/EIL1 Independent. Plant Physiology 136: 2921-2927

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