Christine M Fleet

Associate Professor and Natural Sciences Division Head Biology

I am interested in plant molecular genetics as related to physiology and development. That is, which genes and hormones make plants grow the way they do and respond to the environment the way they do, and what mechanisms regulate those genes and hormones?

Much of my work focuses on the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana to study regulation of the the genes and signaling molecules that regulate plant development.

My work involves basic Mendelian cross-pollination experiments, studies of plant development, microscopy, and molecular biology, and makes use of campus technology including a semi-automated DNA sequencer, quantitative PCR, and an epifluorescence-equipped microscope.

I am also active in STEM outreach.


  • Duke University, Durham, NC
    Ph.D., Cell and Molecular Biology, 2003
  • Tufts University, Boston, MA
    B.S., Biology, 1996


On-going research includes the following areas:
  • Characterization of Fertilization Independent Seed (FIS) effects on gibberellin biosynthesis in Arabidopsis
  • Analysis of genetic control of floral development
  • Phenotype characterization of MIPS2 mutants in Arabidopsis (in collaboration with Dr. Glenda Gillaspy of Virginia Tech)
Student Research:

All of the above described projects have included student participation and / or offer opportunities for future student participation. Below are examples of student presentations based on this research.

  • Smith, K. and Fleet, C.M.  Growth comparison between Bt and conventional field corn.  Southern Section, American Society of Plant Biologists.  Orlando, FL (2017)
  • Dean, L. and Fleet, CM.  Quantifying Sepallata Gene Expression in Column; Anther Cap, Viscidium, and Pollinium; Platform, and Lip and Labellum of Phalaenopsis.  Association for Southeastern Biologists.  Montgomery, AL (2017)
  • Whiteside, T. † and Fleet, C.M.  Understanding the FIS genes’ effect on the gibberellic acid pathway in Arabidopsis thaliana.  Association for Southeastern Biology, Asheville, NC (2010)
    Abstract published in the July 2010 Southeastern Biology.
  • Hai, Xueying Sydney. †  Hox gene regulation in gibberellin biosynthesis on a molecular level.  Beta Beta Beta regional meeting/ Association for Southeastern Biology, Asheville, NC (2010)
    Abstract published in the July 2010 Southeastern Biology.
  • Fleet, C.M. and Thom, A.† Transcriptional regulation of gibberellin biosynthesis in Arabidopsis thaliana. Association for Southeastern Biology, Birmingham, AL.  (2009)
    Abstract published in July 2009 Southeastern Biology.  56, 319
    † undergraduate co-author

Student projects have also resulted in the publication of 90 cDNA sequences to GenBank, an international repository of DNA sequence information. 

Upcoming Research:

I am also happy to collaborate with or mentor students who have their own ideas for molecular biology and genetics-related research projects.

  • Christine M Fleet
    Christine M Fleet

Contact Info

McGlothin-Street Hall, Room 213
Emory, VA 24327



McGlothlin-Street Hall