Douglas Carter

Professor, Department Chair


Contact Information

Nicolaus Copernicus Hall 332

Phone: 860-832-2647


My primary research interest is in plant physiology. I’m particularly interested in photosynthesis at all levels; whole plant, organellar, and molecular levels. My current focus is on chloroplast genes that code for proteins that constitute the core complexes of Photosystems I and II. To date (Sept. 2003), there are about 30 chloroplast genomes that have been completely sequenced and are available through the National Center for Biotechnology Information. For the past year, my research students and I have been “data mining” these gene banks in an effort to identify distributional patterns for these genes. Thus far, we have identified two basic patterns that essentially reflect the two main evolutionary branches of all green plants; streptophytes and chlorophytes. The one notable exception is the monocot genome, and that is the crux of our research efforts. We would like to use these distribution patterns as evolutionary “signatures” that might better resolve the origins of monocots; thus, our research problem has become one that lies within the field of molecular evolution. Our present challenge is to develop an assay that will allow us to determine the distributional patterns in plant species whose chloroplast genomes have not yet been published so that we can begin to the fill the gaps on the phylogenetic tree.


Representative Publications

Courses Taught
Bio 120 - Plants of Connecticut
Bio 121 - General Biology I
Bio 444 - Plant Taxonomy
Bio 449 - Plant Physiology
Bio 450 - Investigations in Plant Physiology