Title: "Discovery and Engineering of Plant Chemistry for Plant and Human Health"
Please email IIGBadmin@ucr.edu for Zoom Link if you cannot attend in person.
Host: Claire Whitaker, Plants3D Trainee
Abstract: Plants are some of the best chemists on the planet and produce an impressive array of small molecules. We are inspired by the fact that humans have become extraordinarily reliant on plant chemistry for food, medicine, and energy. However, remarkably little is known about how plants make these molecules, limiting our ability to engineer and optimize plant metabolic pathways. New plant genome sequences and synthetic biology tools have enabled three research areas under investigation in my lab: 1) Identifying the minimum set of enzymes required to produce plant-derived molecules used in the clinic, 2) the discovery of new molecules and mechanisms that enable plants to copy with pathogens and environmental stress, and 3) new strategies to enable the discovery and engineering of plant chemistry. In this talk, I will describe some of our recent efforts to accelerate the discovery of complete plant pathways for known and novel molecules, not only in the model plant Arabidopsis but also in non-model medicinal plants.