David W Galbraith
Professor, BIO5 Institute
Professor, Biomedical Engineering
Professor, Plant Science
Primary Department
(520) 621-9153
Work Summary
I examine the molecular functions of the different cells found in the tissues and organs of plants and animals and how they combine these functions to optimize the health and vigor of the organism.
Research Interest
David Galbraith obtained undergraduate and graduate degrees in Biochemistry from the University of Cambridge, and postdoctoral training as a NATO Fellow at Stanford University. His first academic appointment was at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, and he became Professor of Plant Sciences at the University of Arizona in 1989. His research has focused on the development of instrumentation and methods for the analysis of biological cells, organs, and systems. He is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the development and use of flow cytometry and sorting in plants, developing widely-used methods for the analysis of genome size and cell cycle status, and for the production of somatic hybrids. He also was among the first to develop methods for the analysis of gene expression within specific cell types, using markers based on Fluorescent Protein expression for flow sorting these cells, and microarray platforms for analysis of their transcriptional activities and protein complements. Current interests include applications of highly parallel platforms for transcript and protein profiling of minimal sample sizes, and for analysis of genetic and epigenetic mechanisms that regulate gene expression during normal development and in diseased states, specifically pancreatic cancer. He is also funded to study factors involved in the regulation of bud dormancy in Vitis vinifera, and has interests in biodiversity and improvement of third-world agriculture. He has published more than 180 scholarly research articles, holds several patents, was elected a Fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science in 2002, and serves on the editorial board of Cytometry Part A. He is widely sought as a speaker, having presented over 360 seminars in academic, industrial and conference settings. He was elected Secretary of the International Society for Advancement of Cytometry in 2016. Keywords: Plant and Animal Cellular Engineering; Biological Instrumentation; Flow Cytometry and Sorting


Brown, J. K., Lambert, G. M., Ghanim, M., Czosnek, H., & Galbraith, D. W. (2005). Nuclear DNA content of the whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Aleyrodidae: Hemiptera) estimated by flow cytometry. Bulletin of Entomological Research, 95(4), 309-312.
BIO5 Collaborators
Judith K Brown, David W Galbraith

PMID: 16048678;Abstract:

The nuclear DNA content of the whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Gennnadius) was estimated using flow cytometry. Male and female nuclei were stained with propidium iodide and their DNA content was estimated using chicken red blood cells and Arabidopsis thaliana L. (Brassicaceae) as external standards. The estimated nuclear DNA content of male and female B. tabaci was 1.04 and 2.06 pg, respectively. These results corroborated previous reports based on chromosome counting, which showed that B. tabaci males are haploid and females are diploid. Conversion between DNA content and genome size (1 pg DNA = 980 Mbp) indicate that the haploid genome size of B. tabaci is 1020 Mbp, which is approximately five times the size of the genome of the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster Meigen. These results provide an important baseline that will facilitate genomics-based research for the B. tabaci complex. © CAB International, 2005.

Jiexun, L. i., Xin, L. i., Hua, S. u., Chen, H., & Galbraith, D. W. (2006). A framework of integrating gene relations from heterogeneous data sources: An experiment on Arabidopsis thaliana. Bioinformatics, 22(16), 2037-2043.
BIO5 Collaborators
Hsinchun Chen, David W Galbraith

PMID: 16820427;Abstract:

One of the most important goals of biological investigation is to uncover gene functional relations. In this study we propose a framework for extraction and integration of gene functional relations from diverse biological data sources, including gene expression data, biological literature and genomic sequence information. We introduce a two-layered Bayesian network approach to integrate relations from multiple sources into a genome-wide functional network. An experimental study was conducted on a test-bed of Arabidopsis thaliana. Evaluation of the integrated network demonstrated that relation integration could improve the reliability of relations by combining evidence from different data sources. Domain expert judgments on the gene functional clusters in the network confirmed the validity of our approach for relation integration and network inference. © 2006 Oxford University Press.

Mustroph, A., Zanetti, M. E., J., C., Holtan, H. E., Repetti, P. P., Galbraith, D. W., Girke, T., & Bailey-Serres, J. (2009). Profiling translatomes of discrete cell populations resolves altered cellular priorities during hypoxia in Arabidopsis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106(44), 18843-18848.

PMID: 19843695;PMCID: PMC2764735;Abstract:

Multicellular organs are composed of distinct cell types with unique assemblages of translated mRNAs. Here, ribosome-associated mRNAs were immunopurified from specific cell populations of intact seedlings using Arabidopsis thaliana lines expressing a FLAG-epitope tagged ribosomal protein L18 (FLAG-RPL18) via developmentally regulated promoters. The profiling of mRNAs in ribosome complexes, referred to as the translatome, identified differentially expressed mRNAs in 21 cell populations defined by cell-specific expression of FLAG-RPL18. Phloem companion cells of the root and shoot had the most distinctive translatomes. When seedlings were exposed to a brief period of hypoxia, a pronounced reprioritization of mRNA enrichment in the cell-specific translatomes occurred, including a ubiquitous rise in 49 mRNAs encoding transcription factors, signaling proteins, anaerobic metabolism enzymes, and uncharacterized proteins. Translatome profiling also exposed an intricate molecular signature of transcription factor (TF) family member mRNAs that was markedly reconfigured by hypoxia at global and cell-specific levels. In addition to the demonstration of the complexity and plasticity of cell-specific populations of ribosome-associated mRNAs, this study provides an in silico dataset for recognition of differentially expressed genes at the cell-, region-, and organ-specific levels.

Galbraith, D. W., Macas, J., Pierson, E. A., Xu, W., & Nouzová, M. (2001). Printing DNA microarrays using the Biomek 2000 laboratory automation workstation.. Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 170, 131-140.
Galbraith, D., & Galbraith, D. W. (1990). Flow cytometric analysis of plant genomes. Methods in cell biology, 33.