Santa Clara University

Phone: 408 551-3096
Location: Alumni Science Hall
Room number: 258
Courses taught:
Biology 21: Introduction to Physiology Biology 4: Light and Life

Jessica Lucas

Assistant Professor


B.A. Plant Biology with Honors, magna cum laude, 2000. 
Southern Illinois University.
Ph.D. Plant Cellular and Molecular Biology, 2007. 
The Ohio State University.
Postdoctoral Research in Department of Biology at Indiana University, 2007-2012. 
FIRST IV Postdoctoral Teaching Scholar. 



Bio21: Introduction to Physiology
Experimental Plant Development
Light and Life


As a global community, we rely on plants to produce food, fuel, and building materials but we know surprisingly little about the biological processes that control plant growth. Therefore I with students in my lab study the fundamental mechanisms that control plant growth at the cellular and genetic levels. All organisms (including plants!) grow to a specific shape and size that is required for their survival.  The size, shape, and number of cells that make up an organism dictate the overall form of the body.  The processes that determine the shape, size and quantity of cells are precisely regulated, yet sufficiently malleable so that life forms can respond and adapt to their environments.  My research explores the molecular mechanisms that control plant cell growth. Specifically, I study how the microtubule cytoskeleton affects plant growth.  My model system is Arabidopsis thaliana, the fruit fly, or lab rat of the plant world. My basic research has the potential to translate into advantages in food security and biofuel production.

Please see my website for more information:
*undergraduate author
Lucas J and Shaw S. 2012 MAP65-1 and MAP65-2 Promote Cell Proliferation and Extension in the Arabidopsis Root. The Plant Journal. Aug;71(3):454-63.
Lucas J and Sack F. 2011 Polar Development of Preprophase Bands and Cell Plates in the Epidermis. The Plant Journal. Feb;69(3):501-9.
Lucas J, Courtney S*, Hassfurder M, Dhingra S*, Bryant A*, and Shaw S. 2011 AtMAP65-1 and AtMAP65-2 Positively Regulate Axial Cell Growth in Etiolated Arabidopsis Hypocotyls. The Plant Cell. May; 23(1-15).
Shaw SL and Lucas J. 2011 Intrabundle Microtubule Dynamics in the Arabidopsis Cortical Array, Cytoskeleton. Jan;68(1):56-67. 
Xie Z, Lee E, Lucas J, Morohashi K, Li D, Murray JA, Sack FD, Grotewold E. 2010 Regulation of cell proliferaton in the stomatal lineage by Arabidopsis MYB FOUR LIPS via direct targeting of core cell cycle genes. The Plant Cell. Jul;22(7):2306-21.
Bhave NS, Veley KM*, Nadeau JA, Lucas J, Bhave SL, Sack FD. 2009 TOO MANY MOUTHS promotes cell fate progression in stomatal development of Arabidopsis stems.  Planta. Jan;229(2):357-67.
Lucas J, Shaw SL. 2008 Cortical microtubule arrays in the Arabidopsis seedling. Curr Opin Plant Biol. Feb;11(1):94-8.
Lucas J, Nadeau J, and Sack F. 2006 Microtubule arrays and Arabidopsis stomatal development. Journal of Experimental Botany. 57(1):71-9.
Lai L, Nadeau J, Lucas J, LeeEK, Nakagawa T, Zhao L, Geisler M, and Sack F. 2005 The Arabidopsis R2R3 MYB proteins FOUR LIPS and MYB88 restrict divisions late in the stomatal cell lineage. The Plant Cell. Oct 17(10): 2754-67.
Kern V, Schwuchow J, Reed D, Nadeau J, Lucas J, Skripnikov A, and Sack F. 2005 Gravitropic moss cells default to spiral growth on the clinostat and in microgravity during spaceflight. Planta. 221, 149-157. 
Lucas J and Renzaglia K. 2002 Structure and function of hornwort stomata. Microscopy and Microanalysis. 8: 1090-1091.