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Richard Ferrieri

Plant Imaging and Biochemistry

Research Interests

    Dr. Ferrieri is a radiochemist whose research is focused on developing new technology using radiotracers to interrogate induced sink strength in plants at metabolic and whole-plant levels. Fundamental research geared to understanding how plant metabolism is regulated across scales from cellular biochemistry to whole-plant physiology is key to DOE’s success in areas such as improved carbon sequestration by plants, and improved plant feedstock for biofuel. Dr. Ferrieri uses short-lived radiotracers such as 13N (t1/2 ,10 m), 11C (t1/2, 20 m) to insert radioactive probes into various parts of a plant’s metabolic machinery, and using a combination of in vivo imaging techniques and nuclear counting techniques, he measures changes in metabolic fluxes that can give rise to changes in resource allocation at the whole-plant level. His recent focus here is to understand the timing by which metabolic control and gene regulation coordinate with the modification of cell walls—a major metabolic sink in plants. His interests also center on developing new imaging biomarkers that are suitable for quantifying changes in lignocellulosic properties of cell walls, as well as aid in the multi-modality imaging of dynamic processes.


Selected Publications

  • Agtuca B., Rieger E., Hilger K., Song L., Robert C.A.M., Erb M., Karve A., and Ferrieri R.A. Carbon-11 reveals opposing roles of auxin and salicylic acid in regulating leaf physiology, leaf metabolism and resource allocation patterns that impact root growth in Zea mays. Journal of Plant Growth and Regulation (Epub October 18, 2013).
  • Ferrieri A.P., Agtuca B., Appel H.M., Ferrieri R.A., and Schultz J.C. Temporal changes in allocation and partitioning of new carbon as 11C elicited by simulated herbivory suggest that roots shape aboveground responses in Arabidopsis. Plant Physiol., 161(2):692-704 (2013).
  • Ferrieri A.P., Appel H., Ferrieri R.A., and Schultz J.C. Novel application of 2-[18F]fluoro-2-deoxy-d-glucose to study plant defenses. Nucl. Med. Biol., 39(8):1152-1160 (2012).
  • Gómez, S., Steinbrenner, A. D., Osorio, S., Schueller, M., Ferrieri, R. A., Fernie, A. R., and Orians, C. M. From shoots to roots: Transport and metabolic changes in tomato after simulated feeding by a specialist lepidopteran. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 144(1):101-111 (2012).
  • Robert C.A.M., Veyrat N., Glauser G., Marti G., Doyen G.R., Villard N., Gaillard M.D.P., Koellner T.G., Giron D., Body M., Babst B.A., Ferrieri R.A., Turlings T.C.J., and Erb M. A specialist root herbivore exploits defensive metabolites to locate nutritious tissues. Ecology Letters, 15(1):55-64 (2012).
  • Best M., Koenig K., McDonald K., Schueller M., Rogers A., and Ferrieri R.A.
    Inhibition of trehalose breakdown increases new carbon partitioning into cellulosic biomass and reduces the shoot-to-root ratio in Nicotiana tabacum.
    Carbohydr Res., 346(5):595-601. (2011) PubMed
  • Gómez S., Ferrieri R.A., Schueller M.,and Orians C.M.
    Methyl jamonate elicits rapid changes in carbon and nitrogen dynamics in tomato
    New Phytologist, 188(3):835-844. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2010.03414.x. Epub 2010 Aug 13. (2010).   PubMed
  • Hanik N., Gómez S., Schueller M., Orians C.M., and Ferrieri RA.
    Use of gaseous 13NH3 administered to intact leaves of Nicotiana tabacum to study changes in nitrogen utilization during defence induction.
    Plant Cell Environ., 33(12):2173-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3040.2010.02215.x. Epub 2010 Sep 10. (2010)  PubMed
  • Hanik N., Gómez S., Best M., Schueller M., Orians C.M., and Ferrieri R.A.
    Partitioning of new carbon as 11C in Nicotiana tabacum reveals insight into methyl jasmonate induced changes in metabolism.
    J. Chem. Ecol., 36(10):1058-1067 (2010). Epub 2010 Sep 15.  PubMed
  • Kasel M., Schueller M.J., and Ferrieri R.A.
    Optimizing [13N]N2 radiochemistry for nitrogen-fixation in root nodules of legumes.
    Journal of Labeled Compounds and Radiopharmaceuticals, 53(9):592-597 (2010).
  • Orians C., and Ferrieri R.
    Beyond chemical defenses: do plant pests induce tolerance as well as resistance traits?
    CONFERENCE: USDA PI Workshop, Washington, DC, March 25-31, 2010. Abstract.
  • Ferrieri R.
    Use of Short-Lived Positron Emitting Radioisotopes to Study the Effects of Belowground Contaminants on Plant Growth and Function.
    CONFERENCE: Annual Conference on Soils, Sediments, Water and Energy, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, October 19-22, 2009. Abstract.
  • Ferrieri R.A., Best M., Schueller M., and Alexoff D.
    Using Radiotracers to Study Changes in the Short-Term Kinetic Fluxes of Intra- and Extracellular Sugars into Cellulose in Response to Jasmonate and Isoxaben.
    CONFERENCE: Annual Meeting of the International Society of Chemical Ecology. Nauchatel, Switzerland, August 23-27, 2009. Abstract.
  • Kil K.E., Biegon A., Ding Y.S., Fischer A., Ferrieri R.A.., Kim S.W., Pareto D., Schueller M.J., Fowler J.S
    Synthesis and PET studies of [(11)C-cyano]letrozole (Femara), an aromatase inhibitor drug.
    Nuclear Medicine and Biology, 36(2):215-223 (2009).  PubMed
  • Babst B., Ferrieri R.A., Thorpe M.R., Orians C.M.
    Lymantria dispar herbivory induces rapid changes in carbon transport and partitioning in Populus nigra.
    Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 128:117-125 (2008). 
  • Babst B.A., Ferrieri R.A., Thorpe M.R. and Orians C.M.
    Lymantria dispar herbivory induces rapid changes in carbon transport and partitioning in Populus nigra.
    Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 128:117-125 (2008). 
  • Thorpe M.R., Ferrieri A.P., Herth M.M. and Ferrieri R.A.
    11C-imaging: methyl jasmonate moves in both phloem and xylem, promotes transport of jasmonate, and of photoassimilate even after proton transport is decoupled.
    Planta, 226(2): 541-551 (2007).  PubMed
  • Babst B., Ferrieri R.A., Gray D.W., Thorpe M.R., Lerdau M., Schlyer D., Schueller M., Thorpe M. and Orians C.M.
    Jasmonic acid induces rapid changes in carbon transport and partitioning in Populus.
    New Phytologist, 167(1):63-72 (2005).  PubMed
  • Ferrieri R.A., Gray D.W., Babst B.A., Schueller M.J., Schlyer D.J., Thorpe M.R., Orians C.M. and Lerdau M.
    Use of carbon-11 shows that exogenous jasmonic acid influences carbon sources for isoprene biosynthesis in Populus.
    Plant Cell & Environment, 28:591-602 (2005).
  • Herth M.M., Thorpe M.R. and Ferrieri R.A.
    Synthesis of the phytohormone [11C]methyl jasmonate via methylation on a C18Sep PakTM cartridge.
    Journal of Labelled Compounds and Radiopharmaceuticals, 48(5):379-386 (2005).
  • Ferrieri A.P., Thorpe M.R. and Ferrieri R.A.
    Up-regulating plant defenses in Populus increases phytoremediation capacity for carbon tetrachloride.
    8th International Symposium on Remediation, June (2005), Batelle Press.
  • Gerasimov M.R., Ferrieri R.A., Pareto D., Logan D., Alexoff D. and Ding Y-S
    Synthesis and evaluation of inhaled [11C]butane and intravenously injected [11C]acetone as potential radiotracers for studying inhalant abuse.
    Nucl. Med. Biology, 32:201-208 (2005).  PubMed
  • Pritchard J., Tomos D., Farrar J.F., Minchin P.E.H., Gould N., MacRae E.A., Paul M.J., Ferrieri R.A., Gray D.W. and Thorpe M.R.
    Turgor, solute import and growth in maize roots treated with galactose.
    Functional Plant Biology, 31:1095 (2004).
  • Fowler J.S., Logan J., Wang G-J, Volkow N.D., Telang F., Ding Y-S, Shea C., Garza V., Xu Y., Li Z., Alexoff D., Vaska P., Ferrieri R., Schlyer D.J., Zhu W. and Gatley S.J.
    Comparison of the Binding of the Irreversible Monoamine Oxidase Tracers, [11C]Clorgyline and [11C]L-Deprenyl in Brain and Peripheral Organs in Humans
    Nucl. Med. Biol., 31(3):313-319 (2004).  PubMed
  • Ferrieri R.A.
    Production and Applications of Synthetic Precursors Labeled with Carbon-11 and Fluorine-18, In Handbook of Radiopharmaceuticals: Radiochemistry and Applications.
    John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.: United Kingdom, 229-282 (2003).
  • Ferrieri R.A.
    Supercritical Fluids in Medical Radioisotope Processing and Chemistry, Part 1: Technology, Instrumentation and Methodology.
    J. Labeled Cmpd. Radiopharm., 46:893-922 (2003).
  • Ferrieri R.A.
    Supercritical Fluids in Medical Radioisotope Processing and Chemistry, Part 2: Applications-Real and Demonstrated.
    J. Labeled Cmpd. Radiopharm, 46:923-943 (2003).
  • Gerasimov M.R., Ferrieri R.A., Schiffer W.K., Logan J., Gatley S.J., Gifford A.N., Alexoff D.A., Marsteller D.A., Shea C., Garza V., Carter P., King P., Ashby C.R., Vitkun S. and Dewey S.L.
    Study of brain uptake and biodistribution of [11C]toluene in non-human primates and mice.
    Life Sci., 70(23):2811-2828 (2002).  PubMed
  • Gerasimov M.R., Schiffer W.K., Marstellar D.A., Ferrieri R., Alexoff D. and Dewey S.L.
    Toluene inhalation produces regionally specific changes in extracellular dopamine.
    Drug Alcohol Depend, 65(3):243-51 (2002).  PubMed
  • Gerasimov M.R., Logan J., Ferrieri R.A., Muller R.D., Alexoff D. and Dewey S.L.
    Effect of vehicle on brain uptake of [11C]toluene.
    Nucl. Med. Biol., 29(5):607-12 (2002).  PubMed
  • Muller R.D., Ferrieri R.A., Gerasimov M.R. and Garza V.
    Supercritical CO2 fluid radiochromatography system used to purify [11C]toluene for PET.
    Nucl. Med. Biol., 29:351-357 (2002).  PubMed