Dr. Harry T Horner

Photograph of Harry T. Horner

Dr. Harry T. Horner's research interests encompass the development and cell biology of male sterility, primarily in soybean; the distribution, initiation and development of calcium oxalate crystals in a variety of plants, and most recently in the genus Peperomia; and the development and function of floral nectaries in soybean and tobacco. These three diverse research areas are of both theoretical and practical importance. In collaboration with a soybean geneticist, Dr. Horner has identified several suitable soybean male-sterility systems that are being tested for attractiveness to certain insects. These cultivars are also being studied for soybean nectary development, function, and nectar output. This latter approach is further being studied in the model tobacco nectary in collaboration with a molecular biologist and biochemist where genes and their expression products related to nectar volume and composition are being characterized. Last but not least, are studies on higher plant crystals of calcium oxalate, a ubiquitous compound found in about 75% of flowering plants. These crystals and the specialized cells in which they form seem to have a variety of functions depending upon the plant, organ, and tissue in which they develop. Dr. Horner is presently collaborating with an ISU colleague and two researchers in Europe to determine if leaf crystal macropatterns support taxonomic groups within the flowering plants, and whether they complements molecular data regarding their phylogeny

Area of Expertise: 
Plant Microbiology
Ph.D., Northwestern University, 1964
M.S., Northwestern University
B.A., Northwestern University
3A Bessey Hall