Neil A. McHale

Neil McHale

Department of  Plant Pathology and Ecology
The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
123 Huntington Street
New Haven, CT 06511
Fax: (203) 974-8502

Dr. McHale is a geneticist by training with special expertise in the plant developmental biology. He employs state of the art methodology in histology, cell biology, molecular genetics and electron microscopy to study genes with essential roles in leaf formation.

B.A., Biology, Merrimack College, 1973
M.S. Genetics, University of New Hampshire, 1976
Ph.D., Horticulture/Genetics, University of Minnesota, 1980

Station career:
Assistant Geneticist, 1983-1989
Associate Geneticist, 1989-1994
Department Head Biochemistry & Genetics, 1994-2015
Emeritus Scientist, 2015-present

Past research:
Dr. McHale conducted thesis research on physiological genetics in tomato, genes controlling formation of the meiotic spindle apparatus in Solanum, and also worked on genetic regulation of the photorespiratory pathway in C3 plants.

Current research:
Dr. McHale’s current research involves the molecular biology of leaf development in dicots. The main emphasis is on cloning and molecular analysis of genes controlling initiation of the leaf blade and subsequent differentiation of specialized cell layers in the blade mesophyll.

Selected publications available from the author,

  • Hao Lin, Lifang Niu, Neil A. McHale, Masaru Ohme-Takagi, Kirankumar S. Mysore and Million Tadege. 2013. An Evolutionarily Conserved Repressive Activity of WOX Proteins Mediates Leaf Blade Outgrowth and Development of Floral Organs in Plants. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sciences 110 (1): 366-371.

  • Million Tadege, Hao Lin, Mohamed Bedair, Ana Berbel, Jiangqi Wen, Clemencia M. Rojas, Lifang Niu, Yuhong Tang, Lloyd Sumner, Pascal Ratet, Neil A. McHale, Francisco Maduen, and Kirankumar S. Mysore.  2011. STENOFOLIA Regulates Blade Outgrowth and Leaf Vascular Patterning in Medicago truncatula and Nicotiana sylvestris.  Plant Cell 23: 2125-2142.

  • McHale, N. A. and Koning, R. E. 2004. PHANTASTICA regulates development of the adaxial mesophyll in Nicotiana leaves. Plant Cell 16: 1251-1262.
  • McHale, N. A. and Marcotrigiano, M. 1998. LAM1 is required for dorsoventrality and lateral growth of the leaf blade in Nicotiana. Development 125, 4235-4243.
  • Carland, F. C. and McHale, N. A. 1996. LOP1: a gene involved in auxin transport and vascular patterning in Arabidopsis leaves. Development 122: 1811-1819.
  • McHale, N. A. 1993. The LAM-1 and FAT genes control development of the leaf blade in Nicotiana. Plant Cell 5: 1029-1038.
  • McHale, N. A. 1992. A nuclear mutation blocking initiation of the lamina in leaves of Nicotiana sylvestris. Planta 186: 355-360.
  • McHale, N. A., Kawata E.E., and Cheung, A.Y. 1990. Plastid disruption in a thiamine-requiring mutant of Nicotiana sylvestris blocks accumulation of specific nuclear and plastid mRNAs. Molecular and General Genetics 221:203-209.