José Feijó




Office Phone: (301)405-9746

Lab Phone: (301)405-1204

Lab: 0239 Bioscience Research Building

Office Address: 0118 Bioscience Research Building

URL: (under construction)



CBMG 699Y- PBio Journal Club


graduate program affiliations

  • BISI- Biological Sciences Graduate Program

research interests

Research in our group is focused on the development of integrated models of apical cell growth and morphogenesis, using the pollen tube as a biological model, ion dynamics as an experimental paradigm and theoretical modeling as an integrative tool. Pollen is the male gametophyte of plants, and therefore all the biological mechanisms we unravel can be integrated in terms of function and evolution and add to our understanding of Plant Reproduction. We use Arabidopsis, lily, tobacco and tomato as model species for higher plants, and the moss Physcomitrella as an evolutionary correlate of apical growth evolution.



On the path to develop models by which ion dynamics coreographies integrate spatial and temporal cues to coordinate cell biology, we have characterized novel ion channels and sensors involved in pollen tube growth and morphogenesis, and their up- and down-stream regulation. This was accomplished by a combination of imaging, electrophysiology, genetics and molecular biology. Furthermore, we unravelled some of the genetic and cellular mechanisms behind pollen tube guidance and fertilization in plants. Our group has provided novel insight into the transcriptional status of plant male gametes and its consequences for plant reproduction and improvement, namely at the epignetics level. We are also active contributers to the advance of cutting edge methods in imaging, transcriptomics and vibrating probe electrophysiology. We have active collaboration with theoretical, animal developmental, evo-devo and other groups in the US and 8 other countries over 4 continents.


recent publications

Gutermuth T, Lassig R, Portes MT, Maierhofer T, Romeis T, Hedrich R,  Feijó JA (*), Konrad K (2013) Pollen tube growth regulation by free anion concentration is dependent on CPK2 and CPK20 interaction with the anion channel SLAH. The Plant Cell 25: 4525-4543


Gualda EJ, Vale T, Almada P, Feijó JA, Martins GG, Moreno N (2013) Open Spin Microscopy – adding a new dimension by open software and hardwareNature Methods, 10:599-600

Calarco JP*, Borges FS*, Donoghue MTA, Van Ex F, Jullien PE, Lopes T, Gardner R, Tang C, Berger F, Feijó JA, Becker JD, Martienssen RA (2012)Reprogramming of DNA methylation in pollen guides epigenetic inheritance via small RNA. Cell, 151: 194–205


Colaço R, Moreno, N, Feijó JA (2012) On the fast lane: mitochondria structure, dynamics and function in growing pollen tubes. J. Microscopy 247:106–118


Tavares B, PN Dias, TF Moura, JA Feijó and A Bicho (2011) Calcium Regulated Anion Channels from Pollen of Lilium longiflorum. New Phytologist 192: 45–60

Michard, E., Lima, P.T., Portes, M.T., Borges, F.S., Silva, A.C., Carvalho, J.E., Liu, L.H., Gilliham, M, Obermeyer, G. and Feijó, J.A. (2011) Glutamate Receptors and D-serine modulate the Ca2+ signature and growth of pollen tubes. Science 332:434-437

Boavida, L, Borges, FS, Becker, JD, Feijó, JA (2011) Whole genome analysis of gene expression reveals coordinated activation of signaling and metabolic pathways during pollen-pistil interactions in ArabidopsisPlant Physiology, 155:2066–2080


Tavares B, Domingos P, Dias PN, Feijó JA and Bicho A (2011) The Essential Role of Anionic Transport in Plant Cells: The Pollen Tube as a case study. J.Exp.Bot.62: 2273-2298


McCue AD, Cresti M, Feijó JA and Slotkin RK (2011) Cytoplasmic connection of sperm cells to the pollen vegetative cell nucleus: potential roles of the male germ unit revisited. J. Exp.Bot. 62, 1621–1631


Konrad K, Wudick MM, Feijó JA (2011) Calcium Regulation Of Tip Growth: New Genes For Old Mechanisms. Current Oppinion in Plant Biology  14:721–730


Zhao Y, Yan A, Feijo JA, Furutani M, Takenawa T, Hwang I, Fu Y, Yang Z (2010) Phosphoinositides regulate clathrin-dependent endocytosis by at the tip of pollen tubes in Arabidopsis and Tobacco. Plant Cell, 22:4031-4044


Cheung, AY, Boavida L, Aggarwal M, Wu HM, Feijo JA (2010) The Pollen Tube Journey and Guidance to the Female Gametophyte. J Exp Bot 61:1907-1915


Feijó JA (2010) The mathematics of sexual attraction. Journal of Biology. 9:18


Prado, MP, Feijó, JA, Porterfield, MD (2010) Calcium dependent NO signaling in plant cell polarity and sexual reproduction. Nitric Oxide in Plant Physiology. S. Hayat, M. Mori, J. Pichtel, and I. Ahmad (eds.) WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheimin. pp. 31-50


Michard, E, Alves, R.F., Feijó, JA (2009) The role of ion fluxes in polarized cell growth: the pollen tube as an experimental paradigm Int.J.Dev.Biol. 53: 1609-1622


Ramos, AC, Lima, PT, Dias, PN, Kasuya, MCM, Feijó, JA (2009) A pH signaling mechanism involved in the spatial distribution of calcium and anion fluxes in ectomycorrhizal roots. The New Phytologist 181 (2): 448-462


Ramos AC, Martins MA, Okorokova-Façanha AL, Olivares FL, Okorokov LA, Sepúlveda N, Feijó JA, Façanha AR (2009) Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi induce differential activation of the plasma membrane and vacuolar H+-pumps in maize root sytem. Mycorrhyza 19:69-80


Slotkin RK, Vaughn M, Tanurdžić M, Borges FS, Becker JD, Feijó JA, Martienssen RA (2009) Reactivation of transposable elements in the vegetative nucleus of pollen. Cell 136:461-472


Lima PT, Faria VG, Patraquim P, Ramos AC, Feijó JA, Sucena E (2009) Plant-microbe symbioses: new insights into common roots. BioEssays 31(11):1233-1244


Cruz, C, Ramos, AC, Façanha, A, Feijó, JA, Martins-Loução, MA (2009) Enzyme activity modulated by AMF colonization: the urea cycle and membrane-bound phosphatase activities. In Varma A , Verma E (eds.)  Microbes for human life, Springer-Verlag, ch25, 10 pp


Vieira AM, Feijó JA (2016) Hydrogel control of water uptake by pectins during in vitro pollen hydration of Eucalyptus globulus. Am.J.Bot. 103(3):1-15


MacAlister CA, Thomain S, Ortiz-Ramírez C, Becker JB, Feijó JA, Lippman ZB (2016) Hydroxyproline O-arabinosyltransferases coordinate tip growing cell elongation in both Arabidopsis thaliana and Physcomitrella patens. Plant J. 85:193–208


Ramesh SA, Tyerman SD, Xu B, Ullah S, Kaur S, Conn V, Domingos P, Feijó JA, Ryan PR, Gillham M (2015) GABA Signaling in Plants is Mediated through a Unique Family of Anion Channels. Nature Communications 6:7879 | DOI: 10.1038/ncomms8879, 1-9


Portes, MT, Daminelli, D, Moreno N, Colaço R, Costa, S, Feijó JA (2015) The pollen tube oscillator: integrating biophysics and biochemistry into cellular growth and morphogenesis. In Mancuso, S, and Shabala, S (eds.) Rhythms in Plants: Phenomenology, Mechanisms, and Adaptive Significance, Springer-Verlag,Heidelberg, pp 121-156


Ortiz-Ramírez, C, Hernandez-Coronado, M, Thamm, A, Catarino, B, Wang, M, Dolan, L, Feijó, JA and Becker, JD (2015) A Physcomitrella patens comprehensive transcriptome atlas provides insights into the evolution and development of land plants. Molecular Plant 9:205–220


Domingos, P, Prado, AM, Wong, A, Gehring, C, Feijó, JA, (2015) Nitric oxide: a multitasked signaling gas in plants. Molecular Plant, 8:506-520


Wudick, MM, Feijó, JA (2014) At the intersection: Merging Ca2+ and ROS signaling pathways in pollen. Molecular Plant, 7:1595-7

-Becker JD, Takeda S, Borges FS, Dolan L and J.A. Feijó (2014) Transcriptional Profiling of Arabidopsis Root Hairs and Pollen Defines an Apical Growth Signature. BMCPlantBiol 14:197


Gutermuth T, Lassig R, Portes MT, Maierhofer T, Romeis T, Hedrich R, Feijó JA (*), Konrad K (2013) Pollen tube growth regulation by free anion concentration is dependent on CPK2 and CPK20 interaction with the anion channel SLAH. The Plant Cell 25: 4525-4543




Fellow of the Linnean Society of London (2009-…)

Senior FullBright Fellow, 1996

National Forestry Prize (Portugal), 1992

Prize of Portuguese Society of Biotechnology, 1989


editorial activities

Molecular Plant (Editorial Board)(Oxford Univ.Press); 2011-...

Sexual Plant Reproduction (Editorial Board) (Springer-Verlag); 2005-2012

Biology Image Library (Editorial Board- Plant Biology/Cell Biology;; 2005-…

Frontiers in Plant Physiology (Review Editor) (; 2011-…

Frontiers in Plant Biophysics. and Modeling (Review Editor) (




Ph.D. Cell Biology, Univ. Lisboa, 1995

Aggregation, Univ. Univ. Lisboa, 2001