University of Calgary

David Bird

  • Adjunct Assistant Professor
  • Integrative Cell Biology

Research Interests

My area of interest is plant cell and molecular biology.  In particular, I am interested in how plants synthesize and secrete the surface lipids that make of the protective cuticle of the plant.  The plant cuticle is essential for limiting water loss, and defence from insect and microbial attack.  

Current Areas of Research:
-Identification and characterization of ABC transporters and other components involved in the export of cuticular lipids
-Ultra-structural characterization of the cuticle-cell wall interface. 

Selected Publications

  • DeBono, A., T. Yeats, Rose, J.K.C., Bird D., Jetter R, L. Kunst, and A.L. Samuels. LTPG is a glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored lipid transfer protein required for export of lipids to the plant surface.  Plant Cell.  In press
  • Li F., Wu, X., Lam, P., Bird D.A., Zheng, H., Samuels, L., Jetter, R., and Kunst, L. Identification of the wax ester synthase/acyl-coenzyme A:diacylglycerol acyltransferase WSD1 required for stem wax ester biosynthesis in Arabidopsis. Plant Physiol. 148: 97-107
  • Bird, D.A.  2008.  The role of ABC transporters in cuticular lipid secretion. Plant Science, 174:563-569
  • Verrier, P.J., Bird, D.A., Burla, B., Dassa, E., Forestier, C., Geisler, M., Klein, M., Kolukisaoglu, Ü., Youngsook, L., Martinoia, E., Murphy, A., Rea, P.A., Samuels, L., Schulz, B., Spalding, E., Yazaki, K., Theodoulou, F.L.  2008.  Plant ABC proteins – a unified nomenclature and updated inventory.  Trends in Plant Science, 13:151-159
  • Wang, H., Zhou, Y., Bird, D.A., Fowke, L.C.  2007.  Functions, regulation, and cellular localization of plant cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors.  Journal of Microscopy, 231:234-46
  • Bird, D.A., Beisson, F., Brigham, A., Shin, J., Greer, S., Jetter, R., Kunst, L., Wu, X., Yephremov, A. and Samuels, A.L. 2007.  Characterization of Arabidopsis ABCG11/WBC11, an ATP binding cassette (ABC) transporter that is required for cuticular lipid secretion. The Plant Journal, 52:485-498.
  • Greer, S., Wen, M., Bird, D.A., Wu, X., Samuels, L., Kunst, L. and Jetter, R. (2007) The Cytochrome P450 enzyme CYP96A15 is the mid-chain alkane hydroxylase responsible for formation of secondary alcohols and ketones in stem cuticular wax of Arabidopsis thalianaPlant Physiology, 145:653-667
  • Coll, E.P., Kandt, C., Bird, D.A., Samuels, A.L. and Tieleman, D.P. (2007) The distribution and conformation of very long-chain plant wax components in a lipid bilayer. Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 111:8702-8704
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