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: 

Turi, C.E., Axwik, K.E., Smith, A., Jones, A.M.P., Saxena, P.K., Murch, S.J.  (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., Jones, A.M.P., Saxena, P.K. (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., Saxena, P.K. (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., Shukla, M.R., Chattopadhyay, A., Zoń, J., Saxena, P.K.(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., Baker, R., Ragone, D., Murch, S.J. (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., Murch, S.J., Wiseman, J., and Ragone, R. (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., Chattopadhyay A., Shukla M., Zon J. and Saxena P.K. (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., Klun, J.A., Cantrell, C.L., Ragone, D., Chauhan, K.R., Brown, P.N., Murch, S.J.
(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., Jones, A.M.P., Sullivan, J. A., Liu, C., Gosling, S., and Saxena, P.K. (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., Dempewolf, H., Armstrong, R., Gallucci, K., Tavana, N.G. (2011) Staple food choices
in Samoa: Do changing dietary trends reflect local food preferences?  Ethnobotany Research and Applications 9:455-462

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

Jones, A.M.P., Ragone, D., Aiona, K., Lane, W.A., Murch, S.J. (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., Ragone, D., Tavana, N.G., Bernotas, D., Murch, S.J. (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, Murch, S.J., Ragone, D.  (2010) Diversity of breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis, Moraceae)
seasonality: A resource for year-round nutrition. Economic Botany. 64(4):340-251

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

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