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Beatrice Holton Ph.D.

Holton_1.jpgAssociate Professor
Director, PFG Scholars Program
(920) 424-7087 or 424-1102


Education and Training:


Courses that I teach:

  • Biology 105 Concepts in Biology: Unity (usually Fall semester)
  • Biology 323 Introductory Molecular and Cell Biology (usually Fall semester)
  • Biology 372/572 Advanced Molecular and Cell Biology (Spring)
  • Biology 316/516 Developmental Biology  (Spring)
  • Biology 373/573 Biology Spring Field Trip (Spring)
  • Biology 374/574 Cell/Immunology Lab (Fall)


Research Interests:

What is a developmental biologist? * I am a cell and developmental biologist. Developmental biologists are interested in how single cells (e.g. fertilized eggs) give rise to entire organisms that consist of multiple tissue types. What chemical signals direct some cells to become neurons, for example, whereas others become pigment cells? What physical forces shape the developing embryo? What factors control cellular and tissue movement so that embryonic features develop? These are only a few of the hundreds of questions that drive the research of developmental biologists. For more information about developmental biology see: Society for Developmental Biology.


My specific research interests:

FORMATION OF THE AMNIOTIC MEMBRANE DURING CHICK DEVELOPMENT Very early in chick development the embryo is simply a population of cells in the midst of a circular sheet of cells (the blastodisc). As development proceeds, this sheet buckles at the anterior (head) end and forms a fold. This fold rises above the head of the embryo, collapses over the head and then moves down the embryo until it, and a similar fold from the posterior, completely enclose the embryo in the amniotic sac. My laboratory is interested in two broad aspects of this phenomenon: 1) The fold, as it moves down the embryo, appears to be under tension. Preliminary work from this lab suggests that the tension is important for proper embryonic trunk alignment. If tension is vital to proper formation of the embryo and the membrane, how is that tension controlled? Cell proliferation or cell death could regulate this tension. Two students in my laboratory are examining the contribution of each to formation of the amniotic membrane. 2) As the fold progresses down the embryo it seems that it must either unroll or tractor down the embryo, or it must zip together as a body bag would enclose a body. A student is currently examining the physical process by which the membrane expands and envelopes the embryo. She is also mapping the position of cells that seem to be under tension and those that are not. Her aim is to understand better the source of the tension that seems so important for development. Another student is examining changes to the cytoskeleton in individual amniotic cells as the membrane forms.


Publications: (*denotes student co-authors):

  • Evrard, Y.A.*, Mohammad-Zadeh, L.* and Holton, B. (2004) "Alterations in CA^2+ -dependent and cAMP-dependent signaling pathways affect neurogenesis and melanogenesis of quail neutral crest." Development Genes and Evolution 214(4):193-199.
  • McDermott, C.M., Nho, C.W.*, Howard, W.* and Holton, B. (1998) "The cyanobacterial toxin, microcystin-LR, can induce apoptosis in a variety of cell types." Toxicon 3(12):1981-1996.
  • Holton, B., Wu, X., Tsapin, A.I., Kramer, D.M., Malkin,R. and Kallas,T. (1996) "Reconstitution of the 2Fe-2S Center and /g/=1.89 Electron Paramagnetic Resonance Signal into Overproduced /Nostoc /sp. PCC 7906 Rieske Protein." Biochemistry 35:15485-15493.
  • Holton, B., C.J. Wedeen, C.J., S.H. Astrow* and D.A. Weisblat (1994) "Localization of Polyadenylated RNA's During Teloplasm Formation and Cleavage of Leech Embryos." Roux Archives Developmental Biology 204:46-53.
  • Holton, B., Middleton, K.*, Zarka, D.*, Alsaadi, R.* and T. Kallas. (1992). "Overproduction of the Rieske Fe-S protein and preparations for mutagenesis of the cytochrome b6f complex in cyanobacteria. In: Progress in Photosynthesis Research, Proc. IXth Intl. Congr. Photosynthesis (N. Murata, ed.) Vol. II, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht pg. 567-570.
  • Astrow, S.*, B. Holton and D.A. Weisblat. (1989) "Teloplasm Formation in a Leech /Helobdella triseriallis/ Is a Microtubule-dependent Process." Developmental Biology 135, 306-319.
  • Holton, B., S. Astrow * and D.A. Weisblat. (1989) "Animal and Vegetal Teloplasm(s) Mix in the Early Embryo of the Leech /Helobdella triserialis/." Developmental Biology 131, 182-188.
  • Weisblat, D.A., S. Astrow, S.* Bissen, R. Ho, B. Holton and S. Settle. (1987) "Early Events Associated with Cell Fate in Leech Embryos." in Genetic Regulation of Development, W.S. Loomis, ed., Alan R. Liss, N.Y. 265-285.
  • Astrow, S.*, B. Holton and D.A. Weisblat. (1987) "Centrifugation Redistributes Factors Determining Cleavage Patterns in Leech Embryos." Developmental Biology 120, 270-283.
  • Changeux, J.-P., F. Bon, J. Cartaud, A. Devillers-Thiery, J. Giraudat*, T. Heidman*, B. Holton, H.O. Nghiem, J.-L. Popot, R. Van Rapenbusch, S. Tzartos. (1983) "Allosteric Properties of the Acetylcholine Receptor Protein from /Torpedo marmorata/." Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology 48, 35-52.
  • Holton, B.* and J.A. Weston. (1982) "Analysis of Glial Cell Differentiation in Peripheral Nervous Tissue. II. Neurons Promote S100 Synthesis by Purified Glial Precursor Cell Populations." Developmental Biology 89,72-81.
  • Holton, B.* and J.A. Weston. (1982) "Analysis of Glial Cell Differentiation in Peripheral Nervous Tissue. I.S100 Accumulation in Quail Embryo Spinal Ganglion Cultures." Developmental Biology 89, 64-71.
by linnm37 — last modified Jul 03, 2012 03:19 PM