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Jacek Gaertig

Blurred image of the arch used as background for stylistic purposes.

We welcome new graduate students for rotations (including ILS) to work on projects in the areas of organelle biogenesis and intracellular pattern formation.

An open NIH-funded postdoctoral position is available (intracellular pattern formation). Contact Jacek Gaertig ( for more information. To apply use the link

The main interest of our lab are the mechanisms that position organelles at precise locations in the cell. For example, we study how repeated organelles, such as cilia, organize into intracellular patterns. Other interests include organelle size regulation and compartmentalization.  Defects in cilia lead to a large number of diseases known as ciliopathies. We use the ciliate Tetrahymena thermophila as a convenient non-animal genetic, cell biological and biochemical model to study cilia and intracellular patterns. Tetrahymena cells build complex patterns of organelles that are faithfully duplicated during each cell division.


A total internal reflection microscopy  imaging of DYF1-GFP in cilia of live (partially paralyzed) Tetrahymena  (video by Patrick Yu-Yang Jiang in collaboration with Karl Lechtreck, University of Georgia)

On its surface, Tetrahymena carries numerous microtubule-based organelles, including ~1000 motile cilia, that are used for locomotion, feeding and sensation. The model provides excellent genetic (forward and reverse), biochemical and imaging tools.

We use genetic screens and next-generation whole genome sequencing to identify novel genes whose products control intracellular (organelle) patterns.


Two conjugating pairs of Tetrahymena labeled with anti-tubulin antibodies. The confocal image was produced by Mayukh Guha and Muthugapatti Kandasamy (University of Georgia).

Lab office:
(706) 542-3409
Research Interests:

Biogenesis of microtubule-based organelles including cilia, organelle compartmentalization, intracellular pattern formation.

Jiang, Y.-Y., Maier W., Chukka, U.N., Choromanski, M., Lee, C., Joachimiak, E., Wloga, D., Yeung W., Kannan, N., Frankel, J., and Gaertig J. (2020) Mutual antagonism between Hippo signaling and cyclin E drives intracellular pattern formation. J. Cell Biol. 219 (9) e202002077

Jiang, Y.-Y., Maier W., Baumeister, R., Minevich, G., Joachimiak, E., Wloga, D., Ruan Z., Kannan, Bocarro, S., Bahraini, A., Vasudevan, K.K., Lechtreck, K., Orias, E., and Gaertig J. (2019) LF4/MOK and a CDK-related kinase regulate the number and length of cilia in Tetrahymena. PLOS Genetics doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1008099. 

Jiang, Y-Y., Maier W., Baumeister R., Joachimiak E., Ruan Z., Kannan, N., Clark, D., Louka, P., Guha, M., Frankel, J. and Gaertig J. (2018). Two antagonistic Hippo signaling circuits set the division plane at the medial position in the ciliate Tetrahymena. Genetics. 211:651-663.

Louka, P., Vasudevan, K., Guha, M., Joachimiak E., Wloga, D., Tomasi, R., Baroud, C.N., Dupuis-WilliaLouka, P., Vasudevan, K., Guha, M., Joachimiak E., Wloga, D., Tomasi, R., Baroud, C.N., Dupuis-Williams, P., Galati D.F., Pearson, C.G., Rice L.M., Moresco, J., Yates J.R., Jiang, Y-Y., Lechtreck, K., Dentler, W., and Gaertig, J. Proteins that control the geometry of microtubules at the ends of cilia (2018). J. Cell Biol., 217: 4298-4313.

Jiang, Y.-Y., Maier W., Baumeister R., Minevich G, Joachimiak E., Ruan Z., Kannan, N., Clark, D., Frankel, J. and Gaertig J. (2017). The Hippo pathway maintains the equatorial division plane in the ciliate Tetrahymena. Genetics. 206: 873-888.

Vasudevan, K.K., Jiang, Y.-Y., Lechtreck, K., Kushida Y., Alford L., Sale, W., Hennessey, T., and Gaertig J. (2015). Kinesin-13 controls the quantity and quality of tubulin inside cilia. Mol. Biol. Cell. 26: 478-494.

Vasudevan, K.K., Song, K.K., Alford, L.M., Sale, W.S., Dymek, E.E., Smith, E.F., Henessey, T., Urbanska, P., Wloga, D., Dentler, W. Nicastro, D. and Gaertig, J. (2015). FAP206 docks radial spoke 2 and dynein c to ciliary doublet microtubule. Mol. Biol. Cell. 26: 696-710.

Akella, S., Wloga, D., Kim, J., Starostina N.G., Lyons-Abbott, S., Morrissette, N.S., Dougan S.T., Kipreos, E.T, and Gaertig, J. (2010). MEC-17 is an alpha-tubulin acetyltransferase. Nature. 467: 218-222.

Suryavanshi, S., Eddé, B., Fox, L., Guerrero, S., Griffin, P., Hard, R., Hennessey, T., Kabi, A., Malison, D., Pennock, D., Sale, W., Wloga, D., and Gaertig, J. (2010). Tubulin glutamylation regulates ciliary motility by altering inner dynein arm activity. Current Biology. 20: 435-440.

Wloga, D., Webster, D., Rogowski, K., Bré, M.-H., Levilliers, N., Jerka-Dziadosz, M., Janke, C., Dougan, S.T. and Gaertig, J. (2009). TTLL3 is a tubulin glycine ligase that regulates the assembly of cilia. Dev. Cell. 16: 867-876.

Verhey,K., and Gaertig J. The Tubulin Code. (2007). Cell Cycle, 6: 2152-2160.

Sharma, N., Bryant J., Wloga D., Donaldson R., Davis R.C., Jerka-Dziadosz, M., and Gaertig J. Katanin regulates dynamics of microtubules and biogenesis of motile cilia. (2007). J. Cell Biol. 178: 1065-1079.

Janke, C., Rogowski K., Wloga, D., Regnard,C., Kajava, AV., Strub, J-M., Temurak, N., van Dijk,J., Boucher, D., van Dorsselar, A., Suryavanshi, S., Gaertig, J., and Edde B. (2005). Tubulin polyglutamylase enzymes are members of the TTL domain protein family. Science. 308: 1758-1762

Thazhath R., C. Liu, and J. Gaertig. 2002. Polyglycylation domain of beta-tubulin maintains axonemal architecture and controls progression of cytokinesis in Tetrahymena. Nature Cell Biol. 4: 256-259.

Events featuring Jacek Gaertig
Room S175, Paul D. Coverdell Center, Meeting ID 95806060023

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