This research proposal describes the development of a research program to study the biogenesis of Arabidopsis phytoalexins. We will begin by investigating the biosynthetic pathway of camalexin, a phytoalexin produced as part of the induced defense response. The first part of our two-phase plan for studying Arabidopsis phytoalexin pathways will focus on the identification of camalexin biosynthetic genes through a collaboration with the Ausubel lab at MGH. During this training period, I will attend relevant meetings and workshops, and I will consult regularly with three senior advisors to establish skills required for timely advance of the project. During the second, independent phase of the project I will biochemically characterize candidate phytoalexin pathway enzymes implicated by the data gathered during phase one. I expect that this work will serve as a springboard for the formulation of a new research program that uses a combination of genetics, chemistry, and biochemistry to elucidate secondary metabolite biosynthetic pathways in plants. A deeper understanding of these pathways will not only illuminate the molecular details of host-pathogen interactions, but it is also likely to have an important impact on human health, given the strong track record of plant natural products as clinically-used medicines. Public Health Relevance: Plants produce a wealth of secondary metabolites for defense against destructive pests. The research program outlined in this proposal explores components of plant immune response pathways as well as the production, distribution, and metabolism of the contributing small molecules. These compounds are contained in commonly consumed vegetables and have been found to have beneficial effects on human health.

Public Health Relevance

Plants produce a wealth of secondary metabolites for defense against destructive pests. The research program outlined in this proposal explores components of plant immune response pathways as well as the production, distribution, and metabolism of the contributing small molecules. These compounds are contained in commonly consumed vegetables and have been found to have beneficial effects on human health.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Type
Career Transition Award (K99)
Project #
1K99GM089985-01
Application #
7772503
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZGM1-BRT-9 (KR))
Program Officer
Okita, Richard T
Project Start
2010-01-11
Project End
2010-12-31
Budget Start
2010-01-11
Budget End
2010-12-31
Support Year
1
Fiscal Year
2010
Total Cost
$89,980
Indirect Cost
Name
Harvard University
Department
Biochemistry
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
047006379
City
Boston
State
MA
Country
United States
Zip Code
02115
Lau, Warren; Fischbach, Michael A; Osbourn, Anne et al. (2014) Key applications of plant metabolic engineering. PLoS Biol 12:e1001879
Anarat-Cappillino, G├╝lbenk; Sattely, Elizabeth S (2014) The chemical logic of plant natural product biosynthesis. Curr Opin Plant Biol 19:51-8