Edgar P. Spalding

Edgar P. Spalding

Professor of Botany
B135 Birge Hall
Ph.D. (1990) Pennsylvania State University
Transport of ions including auxin; photomorphogenesis; phenotype frameworks
Spalding's Lab


Seedling growth and development is the biology at the center of most of the research activities in our laboratory. Arabidopsis thaliana and maize are the species we primarily use in our cellular, physiological, and developmental studies. Increasing measurement throughput is key to leveraging the genetic resources built up around these model systems. For this reason, we develop computational tools required to make automated image-based studies of plant growth and development. More about specific current projects and the people working on them can be found by following the links below. Here is an essay written for the Wisconsin State Journal.



Multidrug resistance transporter localization in root apex

ABC proteins & auxin

cry1 mutant and wild type


glutamate receptor model

glutamate receptor



Most Recent Publications (full publication list)                                              Edgar's c.v. & personal page

Miller ND, Haase NJ, Lee J, Kaeppler SM, de Leon N, Spalding EP (2016) A robust, high-throughput method for computing maize ear, cob, and kernel attributes automatically from images. The Plant Journal online early

Wu G, Carville JS*, Spalding EP (2016) ABCB19-mediated polar auxin transport modulates Arabidopsis hypocotyl elongation and the endoreplication variant of the cell cycle. The Plant Journal 85: 209-218

Heckwolf S, Heckwolf M, Kaeppler SM, de Leon N, Spalding EP (2015) Image analysis of anatomical traits in stalk transections of maize and other grasses. Plant Methods 11: 26

Cho M, Henry EM, Lewis DR, Wu G, Muday GK, Spalding EP (2014) Block of ATP-binding cassette B19 ion channel activity by 5-nitro-2-(3-phenylpropylamino)-benzoic acid impairs polar auxin transport and root gravitropism Plant Physiology 166: 2091-2099

Moore CR, Johnson LS, Kwak I-Y, Livny M, Broman KW, Spalding EP (2013) High-throughput computer vision introduces the time axis to a quantitative trait map of a plant growth response. Genetics 195: 1077-1086

Vincill ED, Clarin AE, Molenda JN, Spalding EP (2013) Interacting glutamate receptor-like proteins in phloem regulate lateral root initiation. The Plant Cell 25: 1304-1313 Access the recommendation on F1000Prime

Yoshihara T, Spalding EP†, Iino M† (2013) AtLAZY1 is a signaling component required for gravitropism of the Arabidopsis thaliana inflorescence. The Plant Journal 74: 267-279 (†co-corresponding authors)

Spalding EP, Miller ND (2013) Image analysis drives a renaissance in growth measurement. Current Opinion in Plant Biology 16: 100-104

Moore CR, Gronwall DS, Miller ND, Spalding EP (2013) Mapping quantitative trait loci affecting Arabidopsis thaliana seed morphology features extracted computationally from images. G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics 3: 109-118 featured on the cover

Spalding EP (2013) Diverting the downhill flow of auxin to steer growth during tropisms. American Journal of Botany 100: 203-214

Subramanian R, Spalding EP, Ferrier NJ (2013) A High throughput robot system for machine vision based plant phenotype studies. Machine Vision and Applications 24: 619-636

Vincill ED, Bieck AM, Spalding EP (2012) Ca2+ conduction by an amino acid-gated ion channel related to glutamate receptors. Plant Physiology 159: 40-46 Access the recommendation on F1000Prime

See the Science Nation video about our Phytomorph project, related articles in Popular Science and Vision Systems Design, and an article about our use of high-throughput computing.