Gonzalo Estavillo

Gonzalo obtained his Bachelor of Biotechnology degree at the School of Biochemistry , National University of Rosario (Argentina) in 1996. After completing an Intercampus fellowship in microbiology at the University of Seville (Spain), and a special graduate course in biotechnology and plant molecular biology at the University of San Martin (Argentina), he started his PhD at the University of Florida, US, under the supervision of Dr George Bowes. His PhD thesis focused on the role of a cardinal enzyme (NADP-malic enzyme) during photosynthesis in Hydrilla verticillata, the first plant described to switch between two types of photosynthesis (from C3 to C4) depending on environmental conditions but without specific leaf (Kranz) anatomy. Gonzalo joined the Pogson lab as a Research Associate in November of 2006. His research focus is the study of plant stress responses, specifically drought tolerance, in the model plant Arabidopsis (“thale cress”). Throughout his career he has co-supervised several undergrad and graduate students, taught and developed plant biology courses, and received several teaching awards.

Gonzalo is a Visiting Fellow in the Pogson Lab, and now holds a position as a Research Scientist at CSIRO Plant Industry. 

Research interests

  • Understanding plant stress responses
  • Improving photosynthesis
  • Using plant phenomics to study plant form and development

Selected publications

  • Estavillo, G.M., Chan, K.X., Phua, SY. and Pogson, B.J. (2012) Reconsidering the nature and mode of action of metabolite retrograde signals from the chloroplast. Frontiers in Plant Physiology doi: 10.3389/fpls.2012.00300
  • Chan, K, Wirtz, M, Phua, S, Estavillo G. M., Pogson, B. J. 'Balancing metabolites in drought: the sulfur assimilation conundrum', Trends in Plant Science, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tplants.2012.07.005 [Epub ahead of print].
  • Gonzalo M. Estavillo, Wannarat Pornsiriwong, Peter A. Crisp, Markus Wirtz, Derek Collinge, Pip B. Wilson, Chris Carrie, Estelle Giraud, James Whelan, Pascale David, Hélène Javot, Charles Brearley, Rüdiger Hell, , Elena Marin, Barry J. Pogson, Rüdiger Hell, James Whelan, Barry J. Pogson (2010). A New Chloroplast Retrograde Signal Functions in Drought, Light and Abscisic Acid Signalling in Arabidopsis Leaves. The Plant Cell 23, 3992-4012. PMID: 22128124; F1000
  • Hirsch, J., Misson, J., Crisp, P.A., David, P., Bayle, V., Estavillo, G.M., Javot, H., Chiarenza, S., Mallory, A.C., Maizel, A., Declerck, M., Pogson, B.J., Vaucheret, H., Crespi, M., Desnos, T., Thibaud, M.-C., Nussaume, L., and Marin, E. (2011). A Novel fry1 Allele Reveals the Existence of a Mutant Phenotype Unrelated to 5′->3′ Exoribonuclease (XRN) Activities in Arabidopsis thaliana Roots. PLoS ONE 6: e16724. PMID: 21304819
  • Tazoe, Y., Von Caemmerer, S., Estavillo, G.M., and Evans, J.R. (2011). Using tunable diode laser spectroscopy to measure carbon isotope discrimination and mesophyll conductance to CO2 diffusion dynamically at different CO2 concentrations. Plant, Cell & Environment 34: 580-591. PMID: 21251018
  • Chan, K.X., Crisp, P.A., Estavillo, G.M., and Pogson, B.J. (2010). Chloroplast-to-nucleus communication: Current knowledge, experimental strategies and relationship to drought stress signaling Plant Signaling & Behavior 5: 1-8.
  • Che, P., Bussell, J.D., Zhou, W., Estavillo, G.M., Pogson, B.J., and Smith, S.M. (2010). Signaling from the Endoplasmic Reticulum Activates Brassinosteroid Signaling and Promotes Acclimation to Stress in Arabidopsis. Sci. Signal. 3: ra69-. PMID: 20876872
  • Delannoy, E., Le Ret, M., Faivre-Nitschke, E., Estavillo, G.M., Bergdoll, M., Taylor, N.L., Pogson, B.J., Small, I., Imbault, P., and Gualberto, J.M. (2009). Arabidopsis tRNA Adenosine Deaminase Arginine Edits the Wobble Nucleotide of Chloroplast tRNAArg(ACG) and Is Essential for Efficient Chloroplast Translation. Plant Cell 21: 2058-2071. PMID: 19602623
  • Giraud, E., Ho, L.H.M., Clifton, R., Carroll, A., Estavillo, G., Tan, Y.-F., Howell, K.A., Ivanova, A., Pogson, B.J., Millar, A.H., and Whelan, J. (2008). The Absence of ALTERNATIVE OXIDASE1a in Arabidopsis Results in Acute Sensitivity to Combined Light and Drought Stress. Plant Physiol. 147: 595-610. PMID: 18424626
  • Meyer, E.H., Tomaz, T., Carroll, A.J., Estavillo, G., Delannoy, E., Tanz, S.K., Small, I.D., Pogson, B.J., and Millar, A.H. (2009). Remodeled Respiration in ndufs4 with Low Phosphorylation Efficiency Suppresses Arabidopsis Germination and Growth and Alters Control of Metabolism at Night. Plant Physiol. 151: 603-619. PMID: 19675153
  • Wilson, P.B.*, Estavillo, G.M.*, Field, K.J., Pornsiriwong, W., Carroll, A.J., Howell, K.A., Woo, N.S., Lake, J.A., Smith, S.M., Millar, A.H., von Caemmerer, S., and Pogson, B.J. (2009). The nucleotidase/phosphatase SAL1 is a negative regulator of drought tolerance in Arabidopsis. Plant J. 58: 299–317. PMID: 19170934
  • Estavillo, G., Rao, S., Reiskind, J., and Bowes, G. (2007). Characterization of the NADP malic enzyme gene family in the facultative, single-cell C4 monocot Hydrilla verticillata. Photosynthesis Research 94: 43-57. PMID: 17638114
  • Furbank, R., Fallahi, H., Badger, M., Estavillo, G., Pogson, B., and Walter, A. (2007). Arabidopsis thaliana functional genomics. Photosynthesis Research 91: PS203.
  • Bowes, G., Rao, S.K., Estavillo, G.M., and Reiskind, J.B. (2002). C4 mechanisms in aquatic angiosperms: comparisons with terrestrial C4 systems. Funct Plant Biol 29: 379-392.
  • Estavillo GM, Rao SK, Reiskind JB, Bowes G (2000) Molecular studies of an inducible C4-type photosynthetic system: NADP-ME isoforms. Plant Molecular Biology Reporter 18, S21-23. *
    Equal first authors.

Book Chapters and Other Publications

  • Albrecht V, Estavillo GM, Cuttriss AJ, Pogson BJ Identifying chloroplast biogenesis and signalling mutants in Arabidopsis thaliana. Methods Mol Biol. 2011; 684: 257-72 In Carpentier, R. (ed) Photosynthesis Research Protocols, Human Press. PMID: 20960135
  • Bowes G, Rao SK, Reiskind JB, Estavillo GM, Rao VS. 2008. Hydrilla: Retrofitting a C3 leaf with a single-cell C4 NADP-ME system. In: Sheehy JE, Mitchell PL, Hardy B, Eds. "Charting New Pathways to C4 Rice. International Rice Research Institute, Los Baños (Philippines), and World Scientific. Pp 275-296.
  • Nathan Bazinet, Srinath K. Rao, Julia Reiskind, Gonzalo M. Estavillo and George Bowes (2003) Differential Expression Studies in Hydrilla verticillata. Journal of Undergraduate Research (Oct.) College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Florida, URL: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00091523/00243.

All publications


  • Plants: Genes to Environment (Biol 2121, ANU, Australia, 2007-2010): Practical coordinator; developed new practical activities and laboratory manual.
  • Introductory Plant Physiology and Molecular Biology Laboratory (Biol2153, UFL, USA, 1999-2001): Teaching assisstant, developed laboratory experiments, wrote protocols and graded reports.
  • Biology I and II (National University of Rosario, Argentina, 1990-1993): Teaching assistant, developed laboratory experiments and protocols.