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Eric Beers

Professor/Assoc Director for Graduate Programs
Eric Beers
513 Latham Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061


My research is focused on the regulation of xylem and phloem differentiation and function with an emphasis on the genomics of wood formation.


  • Plant developmental biology


  • Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1990
  • M.S. University of Delaware, 1985
  • B.S. University of Delaware, 1981
  • BIO/HORT 2304: Plant Biology
  • PPWS/HORT 5524: Advanced Plant Physiology & Metabolism I
  1. Rigoulot, S.B., H.E. Petzold, S.P. Williams, A.M. Brunner E.P. Beers, 2019. Populus trichocarpa clade A PP2C protein phosphatases: their stress-induced expression patterns, interactions in core abscisic acid signaling, and potential for regulation of growth and development. Plant Mol. Biol.
  2. Petzold, H.E., B. Chanda, C. Zhao, S.B. Rigoulot, E.P. Beers, A.M. Brunner, 2018. DIVARICATA AND RADIALIS INTERACTING FACTOR (DRIF) also interacts with WOX and KNOX proteins associated with wood formation in Populus trichocarpa. Plant J. 93(6):1076-1087.
  3. Petzold, H.E., S.B. Rigoulot, C. Zhao, B. Chanda, X. Sheng, M. Zhao, X. Jia, A.W. Dickerman, E.P. Beers, A.M. Brunner, 2017. Identification of new protein–protein and protein–DNA interactions linked with wood formation in Populus trichocarpa. Tree Physiol. 38:362-377.
  4. Zhao, C., T. Lasses, L. Bako, D. Kong, B. Zhao, B. Chanda, A. Bombarely, A. Cruz-Ramírez, B. Scheres, A.M. Brunner, E.P. Beers, 2017.  XYLEM NAC DOMAIN1, an angiosperm NAC transcription factor, inhibits xylem differentiation through conserved motifs that interact with RETINOBLASTOMA-RELATED. New Phytol. 216: 76-89.
  5. Khandaker, M.D.S.K., D.M. Dudek, E.P. Beers, D.A. Dillard, 2017. Expression, crosslinking, and developing modulus master curves of recombinant resilin. J. Mech. Behav. Biomed. Mater. 69:385-394.
  6. Khandaker, M.D.S.K., D.M. Dudek, E.P. Beers, D.A. Dillard, D.R. Bevan, 2016. Molecular modeling of the elastomeric properties of repeating units and building blocks of resilin, a disordered elastic protein. J. Mech. Behav. Biomed. Mater. 61:110-121.
  7. Jervis, J., S.B. Hildreth, X. Sheng, E.P. Beers, A.M. Brunner, R.F. Helm, 2015. A metabolomic assessment of NAC154 transcription factor overexpression in field grown poplar stem wood. Phytochemistry. 115:112-120.
  8. Jia, X., B. Chanda, M. Zhao, A.M. Brunner, E.P. Beers, 2015. Instability of the Arabidopsis mutant csn5a-2 caused by epigenetic modification of intronic T-DNA. Plant Sci. 238:53-63.
  9. Liu, L., M. Zinkgraf, H.E. Petzold, E.P. Beers, V. Filkov, A. Groover, 2014. The Populus ARBORKNOX1 homeodomain transcription factor regulates woody growth through binding to evolutionarily conserved target genes of diverse function. New Phytol. 205: 682-694.
  10. Zhao, C., E.P. Beers, 2013. Alternative splicing of Myb-related genes MYR1 and MYR2 may modulate activities through changes in dimerization, localization, or protein folding. Plant Signal. & Behav. 8:
  11. Xia, R., B.C. Meyers, Z. Liu, E.P. Beers, S. Ye, Z. Liu, 2013. MicroRNA superfamilies descended from miR390 and their roles in secondary small interfering RNA biogenesis in eudicots. Plant Cell 25: 1555-1572. http:/​/​dx.​doi.​org/​10.​1105/​tpc.​113.​110957
  12. Petzold, H.E., M. Zhao, E.P. Beers, 2012. Expression and functions of proteases in vascular tissues. Physiol. Plant. 145:121-129.
  13. Xia, R., H. Zhu, Y.W. An, E.P. Beers, Z. Liu, 2012. Apple miRNAs and tasiRNAs with novel regulatory networks. Genome Biol. 13:R47.
  14. van Doorn, W.G., E.P. Beers, J.L. Dangl, et al. (19 authors), 2011. Morphological classification of plant cell deaths. Cell Death Differ. 18: 1241-1246.
  15. Zhu, H., C.D. Dardick, E.P. Beers, A.M. Callahan, R. Xia, R. Yuan, 2011. Transcriptomics of shading-induced and NAA-induced abscission in apple (Malus domesica) reveals a shared pathway involving reduced photosynthesis, alterations in carbohydrate transport and signaling and hormone crosstalk. BMC Plant Biol. 11: 138.
  16. Zhao, C., A. Hanada, S. Yamaguchi, Y. Kamiya, E.P. Beers, 2011. The Arabidopsis Myb genes MYR1 and MYR2 are redundant negative regulators of flowering time under decreased light intensity. Plant J. 66:502-515.
  17. Brunner, A.M., E.P Beers, 2010. Transcription factors in poplar growth and development. In Poplar. Eds. C.P. Joshi and S. DiFazio. In the series: Genomics of Industrial Crop Plants, Series Ed. C. Kole. Science Publishers, Enfield, NH. pp. 192-230.
  18. Grant, E.H., T. Fujino, E.P. Beers, A.M. Brunner, 2010. Characterization of NAC domain transcription factors implicated in control of vascular cell differentiation in Arabidopsis and Populus. Planta 232: 337-352.
  19. Avci, U., H.E. Petzold, I.O. Ismail, E.P. Beers, C.H. Haigler, 2008. Cysteine proteases XCP1 and XCP2 aid micro-autolysis within the intact central vacuole during xylogenesis in Arabidopsis roots. Plant J. 56: 303-315.
  20. Zhao, C., U. Avci, E. Grant, C.H. Haigler, E.P. Beers, 2008. XND1, a member of the NAC domain family in Arabidopsis thaliana, negatively regulates lignocellulose synthesis and programmed cell death in xylem. Plant J. 53: 425-436.
  21. Ko, J., E.P. Beers, K. Han, 2006. Global comparative transcriptome analysis identifies gene network regulating secondary xylem development in Arabidopsis thaliana. Molec. Gen. Genom. 276: 517-531.
  22. Zhao, C., J.C. Craig, H.E. Petzold, A.W. Dickerman, E.P. Beers, 2005. The xylem and phloem transcriptomes from secondary tissues of the Arabidopsis root-hypocotyl. Plant Physiol. 138: 803-818.
  23. Beers, E.P., J.M. McDowell, 2001. Regulation and execution of programmed cell death in response to pathogens, stress and developmental cues. Curr. Opin. Plant Biol.  4: 561-567.
  24. Zhao, C., B.J. Johnson, B. Kositsup, E.P. Beers, 2000. Exploiting secondary growth in Arabidopsis: construction of xylem and bark cDNA libraries and cloning of three xylem endopeptidases. Plant Physiol. 123: 1185-1196.