Max Jones

Maxwell Jones
Assistant Professor



(519) 824-4120 x53016


B.Sc., University of Guelph
M.Sc. University of Guelph
Ph.D. University of British Columbia



4221 ECB

One of the fundamental characteristics of plant cells is that they are totipotent.  That is to say that, that each individual cell has the potential to regenerate into an entire plant.  This concept is the basis of vegetative plant propagation and a variety of approaches used in crop improvement with far reaching economic and cultural implications.  However, while plant cells are totipotent in theory, it is not possible to realize this potential in many plant species which are generally referred to as recalcitrant.  My primary research interest is to better understand why some plants are recalcitrant and to develop new approaches to establish integrated plant production systems.

Recent work has highlighted the importance of phenylpropanoid metabolism in plant morphogenesis, growth, and development in vitro.  While these compounds play an important role in the life of plants in the “real world”, they generally have a negative impact on plant growth and development in vitro.  My research is focussed on the manipulation of this pathway using selective biosynthetic inhibitors to better understand recalcitrance and develop new methods to manipulate these species.  This approach has facilitated the first protoplast to plant regeneration system in American elm, resulted in a novel approach to reduce oxidative browning in vitro, and has helped evaluate the functional role of phenylpropanoids in the Poaceae.  Ongoing research will apply this information to develop methods to conserve endangered plants, introduce novel vegetatively propagated crops, and develop tools for genetic improvement/breeding programs.

Selected Publications: 

Shukla, M.R., A.S. Singh, K. Piunno, P.K. Saxena, and A.M.P. Jones. (2017). Application of 3D printing to prototype and develop novel plant tissue culture systems. Plant Methods. 13 (1).  

Singh, A., A.M. Jones, M. Shukla and P. Saxena. (2017). High light intensity stress as the limiting factor in micropropagation of sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.). Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture. 129 (2): 209-221. DOI: 10.1007/s11240-017-1170-2

Erland, L., A. Chattopadhyay, A.M.P. Jones and P.K. Saxena. (2016). Melatonin in Plants and Plant Culture Systems: Variability, Stability and Efficient Quantification. Frontiers Plant Science. 7: 1721.

Cantrell, C.L., A.M. Jones and A. Abbas. (2016). Isolation and Identification of Mosquito (Aedes aegypti) Biting Deterrent Compounds from the Flathead Indian Folk Remedy Plant Hierochloë odorata (Sweetgrass). Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.6b01668

Rathwell, R., M. Shukla and A.M. Jones. (2016). In vitro propagation of cherry birch (Betula lenta L.). Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 96: 571-578. DOI: 10.1139/cjps-2015-0331

Jones, A.M., M.R. Shukla, G.C. Biswas and P.K. Saxena. (2015). Protoplast-to-plant regeneration of American elm (Ulmus americana). Protoplasma. 252 (3): 925-931. DOI: 10.1007/s00709-014-0724-y

Jones, A.M., M.R. Shukla, S. Sherif, P. Brown and P.K. Saxena. (2015). Growth regulating properties of isoprene and isoprenoid based essential oils. Plant Cell Reports

Mudge, E., A.M. Jones, and P. Brown. (2015). Quantification of Pyrrolizidine Alkaloid in British Columbia Plants and Contaminated Honey Using an Improved Single-Laboratory Validated HPLC-MS Method. Food Additives and Contaminants: Part A

Sherif, S., A.M. Jones, M.R. Shukla and P.K. Saxena. (2014). Establishment of invasive and non-invasive reporter systems to investigate American elm–Ophiostoma novo-ulmi interactions. Fungal Genetics and Biology. 71: 32-41. DOI: 10.1016/j.fgb.2014.08.005.

Turi, C.E., K.E. Axwik, A. Smith, A.M.P. Jones, P.K. Saxena and S.J. Murch. (2014). Galanthamine, an anticholinesterase drug, effects plant growth and development in Artemisia tridentate Nutt. via modulation of auxin and neutrotransmitter signaling. Plant Signaling & Behavior. 9 (3): e28645.

Singh, A.S., A.M.P. Jones and P.K. Saxena. (2014). Variation and Correlation of Properties of Different Grades of Maple Syrup. Plant Foods for Human Nutrition. 69 (1): 50-56.

Jones, A.M.P. and P.K. Saxena. (2013). Inhibition of phenylpropanoid biosynthesis in Artemisia annua as a novel approach to reduce oxidative browning in plant tissue culture. PLOS One. 8 (10).

Jones, A.M.P., M.R. Shukla, A. Chattopadhyay, J. Zoń, P.K. Saxena. (2013). Investigating the roles of phenylpropanoids in the growth and development of Zea mays L. In Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology – Plant. 49: 765-772.

Jones, A.M.P., R. Baker, D. Ragone and S.J. Murch. (2013). Identification of Pro- Vitamin A Carotenoid-Rich Cultivars of Breadfruit (Artocarpus, Moraceae). Journal of Food Composition and Analysis. 31: 51-61.

Jones, A.M.P., S.J. Murch, J. Wiseman, and R. Ragone. (2013). Morphological diversity in breadfruit (Artocarpus, Moraceae): Insights into domestication, conservation, and cultivar identification. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution. 60: 175–192. 

Jones A.M.P., A. Chattopadhyay, M. Shukla, J. Zon and P.K. Saxena. (2012). Inhibition of phenylpropanoid biosynthesis increases cell wall digestibility, protoplast isolation, and facilitates sustained cell division in American elm (Ulmus americana). BMC Plant Biology.12 (7).

Jones, A.M.P., J.A. Klun, C.L. Cantrell, D. Ragone, K.R. Chauhan, P.N. Brown and S.J. Murch. (2012). Isolation and identification of mosquito (Aedes aegypti) biting deterrent fatty acids from male inflorescences of breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis (Parkinson) Fosberg). Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 60 (15): 3867-3873.

Shukla, R., A.M.P. Jones, J.A. Sullivan, C. Liu, S. Gosling and P.K. Saxena. (2012). In vitro conservation of American Elm (Ulmus americana L.): Potential role of auxin metabolism in sustained plant proliferation. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 42 (4): 686-697.

Jones, A.M.P., H. Dempewolf, R. Armstrong, K. Gallucci, N.G. Tavana. (2011). Staple food choices in Samoa: Do changing dietary trends reflect local food preferences? Ethnobotany Research and Applications. 9: 455-462.

Xing, X., A.M. Koch, A.M.P. Jones, D. Ragone, S.J. Murch, and M.M Hart. (2011). Mutualism breakdown in Breadfruit domestication. Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Jones, A.M.P., D. Ragone, K. Aiona, W.A. Lane and S.J. Murch. (2011). Nutritional and morphological diversity of breadfruit (Artocarpus, Moraceae): Identification of elite cultivars for food security. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis. 24 (8): 1091–1102.

Jones, A.M.P., D. Ragone, N.G. Tavana, D. Bernotas and S.J. Murch. (2011). Beyond the Bounty: Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) for food security and novel foods in the 21st century. Ethnobotany Research and Applications. 9: 129-149.

Jones, A.M.P., S.J. Murch and D. Ragone. (2010). Diversity of breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis, Moraceae) seasonality: A resource for year-round nutrition. Economic Botany. 64 (4): 340-251.

Jones, A.M.P., P.K. Saxena and S.J. Murch. (2009). Bioreactor production of Echinacea purpurea L. as a source of standardized, uniform plant material and as a model system for studying plant secondary metabolism. Engineering in the Life Sciences. 9 (3): 205-210.

Zheljazkov, V.D., A.M. Jones, B. Avula, V. Maddox and D.E. Rowe. (2009). Lignan and nutrient  concentrations in American Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum L.) in the Eastern United States. Horticultural Science. 44 (2): 349-353.

Jones, A.M.P., Z. Yi, S.J. Murch and P.K. Saxena. (2007). Thidiazuron-induced regeneration of  Echinacea purpurea L.: Micropropagation in solid and liquid culture systems. Plant Cell Reports. 26 (1): 13-19.