Dr. Ryan L Wagner

Department Chair, Associate Professor, Plant physiology, plant biochemistry, concepts in botany, general biology.

Dr. Ryan L Wagner

Contact Information


Office: Roddy 163
Phone: 717-871-4316

Office Hours

Comments: Due the COVID-19 pandemic, faculty office hours will be conducted remotely. Please send your brief questions by email. For more extensive discussions, use email to set-up a phone or Zoom appointment


B.S. South Dakota State University
Ph.D. Washington State University

Courses Taught:

BIOL 100 – General biology
BIOL 221 – Concepts of Botany
BIOL 436 – Plant Physiology

Areas of Specialization:

Plant Physiology, Biochemistry, and Molecular Biology

Research Interest(s):

I work with the aspects of plants that nobody can see with a casual glance! My research program revolves around two topics involving post-translational processing in plant proteins. My first project was initiated during my Postdoctoral work at Iowa State University on the elucidation of the post-translational proteolytic processing mechanism that facilitates the removal of internal peptide sequences from a translated polypeptide. My work will focus on identifying the components involved in this processing in higher plants in addition to identifying endogenous requirements for this processing system. My second project was initiated during my graduate studies at Washington State University and focuses on the role of post-translational phosphorylation in the regulation of seed transition from a dormant to germinable state. This work involves understanding the signal transduction pathways that utilize phosphorelay systems in response to environmental signals such as hydration. It doesn't matter so much that the plant has germinated, but that the plant has received and interpreted a command to germinate. Participation in these research programs by students is always encouraged as they provide excellent opportunities to develop critical thinking skills and research skills, as well as the chance to experience the awesome work environment that is a laboratory!

Selected Publication(s): (*student)

Wagner, R. L . Juvale, P. and Spalding, M. H. S. (2004), Analysis of the proteolytic processing of the Chlamydomonas reinhardtii protein, periplasmic carbonic anhydrase (pCA1). The Fifth International Symposium on Inorganic Carbon Utilization by Aquatic Photosynthetic Organisms, CCM 2004

Wagner, R . L. and Walker-Simmons, M. K. 2004. Protein phosphorylation is suppressed when wheat embryos are hydrated and remain growth arrested. Seed Science Research, 14: 287-296

Johnson, R., Wagner, R ., Verhey, S. D., and Walker-Simmons, M. K. 2002. The ABA-responsive kinase PKABA1 interacts with a seed-specific ABA response element binding factor, TaABF, and phosphorylates TaABF peptide sequences. Plant Physiology, 130: 837-846