Chris Wolverton

Professor of Botany/Microbiology


B.S., Miami University
Ph.D., The Ohio State University


Chris Wolverton’s research interests include how plants integrate signals such as light, touch, and gravity to influence growth and development. His lab uses a combination of mutants, transgenic approaches, and reporter gene studies along with a custom hardware and software system that combines real-time image analysis with motor control to study the dynamics of sensory output and growth regulation. He is currently funded by NASA for a spaceflight experiment investigating the threshold for gravity perception and to characterize the cellular systems that transduce the gravity signal into cellular information.


Plant Physiology

Introduction to Cell Biology


Advanced Molecular Techniques


Areas of Interest / Expertise

  • Primary root gravitropism (directional growth response related to gravity)
  • Lateral root gravitropic signaling and root system architecture
  • Root phototropism
  • Plant development
  • Plant molecular genetics
  • Confocal microscopy


Overbey, Eliah G., Amanda M. Saravia-Butler, Zhe Zhang, Komal S. Rathi, Homer Fogle, Willian A. da Silveira, Richard J. Barker, et al. (2021) NASA GeneLab RNA-Seq Consensus Pipeline: Standardized Processing of Short-Read RNA-Seq Data. IScience 24, no. 4 (April 23, 2021).

Kiss, J. Z., Wolverton, S. C., Wyatt, S. E., Hasenstein, K. H., & van Loon, J. J. W. A. (2019). Comparison of Microgravity Analogs to Spaceflight in Studies of Plant Growth and Development. Frontiers in Plant Science, 10.

Roberts, B. R., & Wolverton, C. (2018) Transpiration and Drought Stress Recovery of Three Zinnia Cultivars. Journal of Environmental Horticulture, 36(3), 108-113.

Roberts, B. R., Wolverton, C., & Janowicz, L. (2017). The impact of substrate and irrigation interval on the post-transplant root growth of container-grown zinnia and tomato. Journal of Environmental Horticulture, 35(1), 1–5.

Roberts, B. R., Wolverton, C., & West, S. (2015). Evaluation of a Substrate-applied Humectant to Mitigate Drought Stress in Young, Container-grown Plants. J Environ. Hort., 33(3), 137–141.

Wolverton, C. (2015). Quantification of Root Gravitropic Response Using a Constant Stimulus Feedback System. In E. B. Blancaflor (Ed.), Plant Gravitropism (Vol. 1309, pp. 23–30). New York: Springer.

Bai, H., Murali, B., Barber, K., & Wolverton, C. (2013). Low phosphate alters lateral root setpoint angle and gravitropism. American Journal of Botany, 100(1), 175–182.

Bai, H., & Wolverton, C. (2011). Gravitropism in lateral roots of Arabidopsis pgm-1 mutants is indistinguishable from that of wild-type. Plant Signaling & Behavior, 6(10), 1423–1424.

Wolverton, C., Paya, A. M., & Toska, J. (2011). Root cap angle and gravitropic response rate are uncoupled in the Arabidopsis pgm-1 mutant. Physiologia Plantarum, 141(4), 373–382.

Wolverton, C., & Kiss, J. Z. (2009). An Update on Plant Space Biology. Gravitational and Space Biology Bulletin, 22(2).

Contact Info


Schimmel/Conrades Science Center #339
Ohio Wesleyan University
Delaware, OH 43015
P 740-368-3503