Siela Maximova

Research Professor of Plant Biotechnology Co-Director, Endowed Program in the Molecular Biology of Cocoa

Siela Maximova

Research Summary

Molecular basis of plant-pathogen and plant-endophyte interactions. Biotechnology of tree crops. Development of sustainable energy crops.

Graduate Students

Huck Affiliations

Publication Tags

Genes Theobroma Cacao Cacao Arabidopsis Gene Expression Infection Pathogens Transcription Factors Malus Temperature Phytophthora Flavonoids Leaves Genomics Salicylic Acid Genotype Proteins Pods Oomycetes Proanthocyanidins Synthesis Disease Resistance Moniliophthora Roreri Apples Light

Most Recent Papers

Gene Expression Modularity Reveals Footprints of Polygenic Adaptation in Theobroma cacao.

T Hämälä, Mark Guiltinan, James Marden, Siela Maximova, Claude dePamphilis, P Tiffin, 2020, Molecular biology and evolution on p. 110-123

Metabolomic profile of cacao cell suspensions growing in blue light/dark conditions with potential in food biotechnology

Adriana M. Gallego, Luisa F. Rojas, Héctor A. Rodriguez, Conrado Mora, Lucía Atehortúa, Aura I. Urrea, Mark Guiltinan, Siela Maximova, Emmanuel Gaquerel, Martha Zuluaga, Natalia Pabón-Mora, 2019, Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture on p. 275-294

Resistant and susceptible cacao genotypes exhibit defense gene polymorphism and unique early responses to Phytophthora megakarya inoculation

Désiré N. Pokou, Andrew S. Fister, Noah Winters, Mathias Tahi, Coulibaly Klotioloma, Aswathy Sebastian, James Harold Marden, Siela Maximova, Mark Guiltinan, 2019, Plant molecular biology on p. 499-516

Widely distributed variation in tolerance to Phytophthora palmivora in four genetic groups of cacao

Andrew Fister, Mariela Leandro-Munoz, Dapeng Zhang, James Marden, Peter Tiffin, Claude dePamphilis, Siela Maximova, Mark Guiltinan, 2019, TREE GENETICS & GENOMES

Transcriptomic analyses of cacao cell suspensions in light and dark provide target genes for controlled flavonoid production

Adriana M. Gallego, Luisa F. Rojas, Oriana Parra, Héctor A. Rodriguez, Juan C. Mazo Rivas, Aura Inés Urrea, Lucía Atehortúa, Andrew S. Fister, Mark Guiltinan, Siela Maximova, Natalia Pabón-Mora, 2018, Scientific reports

Transient expression of CRISPR/Cas9 machinery targeting TcNPR3 enhances defense response in theobroma cacao

Andrew S. Fister, Lena Landherr, Siela N. Maximova, Mark J. Guiltinan, 2018, Frontiers in Plant Science

Effects of microclimatic variables on the symptoms and signs onset of Moniliophthora roreri, causal agent of Moniliophthora pod rot in cacao

Mariela E. Leandro-Muñoz, Philippe Tixier, Amandine Germon, Veromanitra Rakotobe, Wilbert Phillips-Mora, Siela Maximova, Jacques Avelino, 2017, PloS one


Andrew S. Fister, Zi Shi, Yufan Zhang, Emily E. Helliwell, Siela N. Maximova, Mark J. Guiltinan, 2016, Plant Methods

Enhanced resistance in Theobroma cacao against oomycete and fungal pathogens by secretion of phosphatidylinositol-3-phosphate-binding proteins

Emily E. Helliwell, Julio Vega-Arreguín, Zi Shi, Bryan Bailey, Shunyuan Xiao, Siela Maximova, Brett M. Tyler, Mark Guiltinan, 2016, Plant Biotechnology Journal on p. 875-886

Tc-MYBPA an Arabidopsis TT2-like transcription factor and functions in the regulation of proanthocyanidin synthesis in Theobroma cacao

Yi Liu, Zi Shi, Siela Maximova, Mark J. Payne, Mark Guiltinan, 2015, BMC Plant Biology

Most-Cited Papers

The genome of Theobroma cacao

Xavier Argout, Jerome Salse, Jean Marc Aury, Mark Guiltinan, Gaetan Droc, Jerome Gouzy, Mathilde Allegre, Cristian Chaparro, Thierry Legavre, Siela Maximova, Michael Abrouk, Florent Murat, Olivier Fouet, Julie Poulain, Manuel Ruiz, Yolande Roguet, Maguy Rodier-Goud, Jose Fernandes Barbosa-Neto, Francois Sabot, Dave Kudrna, Jetty Siva S. Ammiraju, Stephan C. Schuster, John Edward Carlson, Erika Sallet, Thomas Schiex, Anne Dievart, Melissa Kramer, Laura Gelley, Zi Shi, Aurélie Bérard, Christopher Viot, Michel Boccara, Ange Marie Risterucci, Valentin Guignon, Xavier Sabau, Michael Axtell, Zhaorong Ma, Yufan Zhang, Spencer Brown, Mickael Bourge, Wolfgang Golser, Xiang Song, Didier Clement, Ronan Rivallan, Mathias Tahi, Joseph Moroh Akaza, Bertrand Pitollat, Karina Gramacho, Anglique D'Hont, Dominique Brunel, Diogenes Infante, Ismael Kebe, Pierre Costet, Rod Wing, W. Richard McCombie, Emmanuel Guiderdoni, Francis Quetier, Olivier Panaud, Patrick Wincker, Stephanie Bocs, Claire Lanaud, 2011, Nature Genetics on p. 101-108

Proanthocyanidin synthesis in Theobroma cacao

Yi Liu, Zi Shi, Siela Maximova, Mark J. Payne, Mark J. Guiltinan, 2013, BMC plant biology

Rootstock-regulated gene expression patterns in apple tree scions

Philip J. Jensen, Izabela Makalowska, Naomi S. Altman, Gennaro Fazio, Craig Praul, Siela Maximova, Robert Michael Crassweller, James W. Travis, Timothy W. McNellis, 2010, Tree Genetics and Genomes on p. 57-72

Pervasive effects of a dominant foliar endophytic fungus on host genetic and phenotypic expression in a tropical tree

Luis C. Mejía, Edward A. Herre, Jed P. Sparks, Klaus Winter, Milton N. García, Sunshine A. Van Bael, Joseph Stitt, Zi Shi, Yufan Zhang, Mark J. Guiltinan, Siela N. Maximova, 2014, Frontiers in Microbiology

Enhanced somatic embryogenesis in Theobroma cacao using the homologous BABY BOOM transcription factor

Sergio L. Florez, Rachel L. Erwin, Siela N. Maximova, Mark J. Guiltinan, Wayne R. Curtis, 2015, BMC plant biology

Rootstock-regulated gene expression patterns associated with fire blight resistance in apple

Philip J. Jensen, Noemi Halbrendt, Gennaro Fazio, Izabela Makalowska, Naomi Altman, Craig Praul, Siela N. Maximova, Henry K. Ngugi, Robert M. Crassweller, James W. Travis, Timothy W. McNellis, 2012, BMC genomics

Functional analysis of the theobroma cacao NPR1 gene in arabidopsis

Zi Shi, Siela Maximova, Yi Liu, Joseph Verica, Mark Guiltinan, 2010, BMC Plant Biology

FIBRILLIN4 is required for plastoglobule development and stress resistance in apple and arabidopsis

Dharmendra K. Singh, Siela N. Maximova, Philip J. Jensen, Brian L. Lehman, Henry K. Ngugi, Timothy W. McNellis, 2010, Plant physiology on p. 1281-1293

The salicylic acid receptor NPR3 is a negative regulator of the transcriptional defense response during early flower development in Arabidopsis

Zi Shi, Siela Maximova, Yi Liu, Joseph Verica, Mark J. Guiltinan, 2013, Molecular plant on p. 802-816

Dynamic changes in pod and fungal physiology associated with the shift from biotrophy to necrotrophy during the infection of Theobroma cacao by Moniliophthora roreri

Bryan A. Bailey, Jayne Crozier, Richard C. Sicher, Mary D. Strem, Rachel Melnick, Marcelo F. Carazzolle, Gustavo G.L. Costa, Gonçalo A.G. Pereira, Dapeng Zhang, Siela Maximova, Mark Guiltinan, Lyndel Meinhardt, 2013, Physiological and Molecular Plant Pathology on p. 84-96

News Articles Featuring Siela Maximova

Novel way to ID disease-resistance genes in chocolate-producing trees found

Chocolate-producing cacao trees that are resistant to a major pathogen were identified by an international team of plant geneticists. The findings point the way for plant breeders to develop trees that are tolerant of the disease.

Global Faculty Fellow will create connections between Penn State and Colombia

Siela Maximova, research professor of plant biotechnology, has been named a Global Faculty Fellow in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences and a Land Grant University U.S.-Colombia Fulbright Scholar.

These Kids Have Come 500 Miles To Do Science And Make A Difference

The road between Arauquita, relatively near Colombia’s border with Venezuela, and the nation’s capital in Bogota stretches over 800 kilometers (500 miles), but for one week in October, a special group bridged that gap in more ways than one.

Guiltinan, Maximova receive the 2019 Kopp International Achievement Award

Mark Guiltinan, professor of plant molecular biology, and Siela Maximova, research professor of plant biotechnology, both in the College of Agricultural Sciences, are the recipients of Penn State's 2019 W. LaMarr Kopp International Achievement Award.

Searching for Chocolate’s Roots, and Enemies, in Colombia’s Wilderness

A newfound peace has spurred the hunt for disease-resistant wild cacao within the nation’s borders.