Plant Systems Biology @ The Coruzzi Lab

From predictive network modeling to trait evolution


May 2018

Biologists identify temporal logic of regulatory genes affecting nitrogen use efficiency in plants

Discovery has implications for global food production, sustainable agriculture

Kranthi Varala, Amy Marshall-Colón, Jacopo Cirrone, Matthew D Brooks, Sophie Léran, Shipra Mittal, Angelo V Pasquino, Tara M Rock, Molly B Edwards, Grace J Kim, W Richard McCombie, Dennis Shasha & Gloria M Coruzzi (2018). “The transcriptional logic of dynamic regulatory networks that underlie nitrogen signaling and use in plants.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 May 16. pii: 201721487. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1721487115. [Epub ahead of print]

PMID: 29769331

The transcriptional Logic of Nitrogen Regulatory Networks.


September 2017


NSF Science Nation video released on Coruzzi lab research: Genomic science uncovers genes that enable plants to grow more with less fertilizer. Click here to see the video.




August 2017


In memory and tribute to Alexandra Page Clark: Student, Research Scientist, Friend




April 2017



Gloria Coruzzi and fellow Fordham alum, Christopher Proto, were featured in Fordham Magazine in April!

Find the article here.






June 2016

 thumb_BIO-UA999 Students 2016_1024


Congratulations to the 2016 Biology Honors students! This is a lovely photo gifted to Dr. Coruzzi by the students in  her BIO-UA995/9 Becoming a Scientist & Thesis Writing Honors classes.


They are (from left to right): XaoFei Lin, Kristen Lee, Apurva Parikh (back), Tanim Jain, Mohammad Sadic, Priyanka Srivastava, and John Yuen.




Recently In Press:


In Atlas of Science:

From milliseconds to lifetimes: dynamic behavior of transcription factors in gene networks

Link to Summary:


Conserved nitrogen-regulated network modules in rice

Link to Summary:



In Bioessays:

“Hit-and-run”: Transcription factors get caught in the act

Link to Article:




R Workshop at NYU CGSB


July 20th – 24th, 2015


Manny Katari teaches an R Course at NYU’s Center for Genomics and Systems Biology. Students were Postdoctoral Fellows, Graduate Students, and Undergraduate Students.


The syllabus included training modules on R Data Structures, Importing and Exporting Data in R, Using the Apply Function, Basic Plot Functionality, and Advanced Plots.




The Coruzzi Lab discovers a new “hit-and-run” model of transcription


June 23rd, 2014


A hit-and-run transcription model enables bZIP1 to rapidly and catalytically activate genes in response to an N signal. The transient mode of action for class III bZIP1 targets follows a classic model for hit-and-run transcription.

Dr. Coruzzi led a team of genome scientists that has identified a “hit-and-run” mechanism that allows regulatory proteins in the nucleus to adopt a “Tom Sawyer” behavior when it comes to the work of initiating gene activation.


Their research, which appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, focuses on transcription factors—proteins that orchestrate the flow of genetic information from DNA to messenger RNA (mRNA). Their results show how transcription factors (TFs) activate mRNA synthesis of a gene, and leave the scene – in a model termed “hit-and-run” transcription.


“Much like Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer who begins to paint Aunt Polly’s fence, and then convinces others that they are privileged to join in before leaving to relax, this pioneer transcription factor binds to a gene promoter to initiate transcription and then leaves, recruiting its friends to continue work it started,” explains New York University Biology Professor Coruzzi, the study’s senior author.


The transcription factor under study is crucial to activating genes needed to respond to nitrogen, a nutrient signal that is the rate-limiting element in plant growth.


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This work was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) (R01-GM032877, R01-GM078270), an NIH National Research Service Award (GM095273), the National Science Foundation (MCB-0929338, DBI-0923128), France’s National Research Agency and National Center for Scientific Research.


Alessia Para, Ying Li, Amy Marshall-Colón, Kranthi Varala, Nancy J. Francoeur, Tara M. Moran, Molly B. Edwards, Christopher Hackley, Bastiaan O. R. Bargmann, Kenneth D. Birnbaum, W. Richard McCombie, Gabriel Krouk, and Gloria M. Coruzzi. (2014) “Hit-and-run transcriptional control by bZIP1 mediates rapid nutrient signaling in Arabidopsis.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. doi:10.1073/pnas.1404657111


full text (PDF)>>



Coruzzi Lab Celebrates the Holidays


December 11, 2013


The Coruzzi Lab celebrates the holiday season at the Washington Square Park tree lighting ceremony.

The Coruzzi Lab at the Washington Square Park Tree Lighting



A Walk Through Gloria Coruzzi’s Plant Genome Wonderland


September 11, 2013


Dr. Gloria Coruzzi featured on NYU Stories

An article and slideshow on the work of Dr. Gloria Coruzzi and her lab at New York University’s Center for Genomics and Systems Biology is currently being featured on the NYU Stories website.


Dr. Coruzzi led a tour of NYU’s state-of-the-art Center for Genomics and Systems Biology to showcase the ongoing projects in her lab. She explained how access to such a facility has radically changed the way she approaches research. “Here at NYU, before we had the Center, we had started doing genome-scale experiments but we didn’t have the wide range of high-throughput genomic capabilities that we have now in our Core facility,” Coruzzi explains. “The openness between the labs and the bioinformatics [suite] has just exploded our ability to do genome science.”


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NYC-Area High School Students Working with NYU Biologists Named Intel Science Talent Search Finalists


March 19, 2012


Stuyvesant High School student, Angela Fan, in the tan dress standing next to President Obama

The Intel STS is the nation’s most prestigious pre-college science competition. This year, Intel STS chose its 40 finalists from 1,839 applicants from around the U.S. Previous Intel STS winners have gone on to capture more than 100 of the world’s most distinguished science and math honors, including seven Nobel Prizes and four National Medals of Science.


Angela Fan, finalist for Intel STS, worked with CGSB researchers. Fan, a student at Stuyvesant High School, studied root nutrient foraging in the laboratory of Professor Gloria Coruzzi. She applied a morphometric approach to quantifying the developmental plasticity space of different ecotypes of the model plant species Arabidopsis thaliana in laboratory and natural environments.


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Four NYC-Area High School Students Working With NYU Biologists Name Intel Science Fair Semifinalists,


January 18, 2012


The Center for Genomics and Systems Biology

Four high school students working on science-fair research projects with scientists at NYU’s Center for Genomics and Systems Biology (CGSB) are among the 300 national semifinalists for the international INTEL Science Talent Search competition for 2012. These high school students worked on a range of projects, including plant nutrient dynamics, protein structure prediction, nematode genomics, and bacterial spore development.


Angela Fan (Stuyvesant High School, NYC), who worked in the plant genomics and systems biology laboratory of Professor Gloria Coruzzi, studied root nutrient foraging.  She applied a morphometric approach to quantifying the developmental plasticity space of different ecotypes of the model plant species Arabidopsis thaliana in laboratory and natural environments.


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Scientists Create Largest-Ever Genome Tree of Life for Seed Plants


December 15, 2011


Ginkgo biloba, one of the studied plant species from the gymnosperms

Scientists at New York University’s Center for Genomics and Systems Biology, the American Museum of Natural History, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and the New York Botanical Garden have created the largest genome-based tree of life for seed plants to date. Their findings, published today in the journal PLoS Genetics, plot the evolutionary relationships of 150 different species of plants based on advanced genome-wide analysis of gene structure and function. This new approach, called “functional phylogenomics,” allows scientists to reconstruct the pattern of events that led to the vast number of plant species and could help identify genes used to improve seed quality for agriculture.

“Ever since Darwin first described the ‘abominable mystery’ behind the rapid explosion of flowering plants in the fossil record, evolutionary biologists have been trying to understand the genetic and genomic basis of the astounding diversity of plant species,” said Rob DeSalle, a corresponding author on the paper and a curator in the Museum’s Division of Invertebrate Zoology who conducts research at the Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics. “Having the architecture of this plant tree of life allows us to start to decipher some of the interesting aspects of evolutionary innovations that have occurred in this group.”


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