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Molecular & Cell Biology

Plant Cell Wall Biotechnology

Confocal laser scanning microscope images showing transgenic tobacco BY-2 cells with uniform distribution of GFP-LeAGP-1 on the cell surface, plasma membrane and Hechtian strands. (A) Transgenic BY-2 cells expressing GFP-LeAGP-1 on cell wall (CW). (B) Transgenic BY-2 cells were salt plasmolysed (4% NaCl) for 15 min to demonstrate the relocalization of cell surface GPI-anchored LeAGP-1 on plasma membrane (PM) and Hechtian strands (arrow). (Scale bars = 20 µm).

Studying the Source of Valuable Biological Products

The plant cell wall biotechnology group studies the structure and function of plant cell wall components in hopes of exploiting this knowledge for the production of valuable biological products.

Participating Faculty

  • Ahmed Faik—Plant cell wall biochemistry
  • Zhihua Hua—Ubiquitylation, cross talk of gene expression regulatory pathways
  • Allan Showalter—Molecular biology and biochemistry of plant cell wall proteins
  • Sarah Wyatt—Transition of floral dimorphisms; plant signaling especially as it relates to the response to gravity; use of genetic, genomic, proteomic and bioinformatic strategies to identify novel signaling components

Current and Past Projects

  • Arabinogalactan-proteins: structure, expression, and function (Showalter)
  • Analysis of molecular determinants of gravitropism, using the microgravity environment (Wyatt)
  • Characterization and cloning of the gps mutants of Arabidopsis (Wyatt)
  • Characterizatio of the molecular determinants of the shift between floral dimorphism in Viola sp. (Wyatt and Ballard)
  • Crystallization of hydroxyproline-rich glycoproteins for structural determination by X-ray diffraction and three dimensional molecular modeling (Kieliszewski)
  • Glycosylation site mapping of hydroxyproline-rich glycoproteins (Kieliszewski)
  • Isolation and characterization of tomato arabinogalactan-protein and extensin genes (Showalter)
  • Molecular interactions and cross-linking of hydroxyproline-rich glycoproteins (Kieliszewski)
  • Molecular interactions and functions of LeAGP-1, a modular plasma membrane arabinogalactan-protein (Showalter and Kieliszewski)
  • Production and characterization of arabinogalactan-protein mutants in Arabidopsis and tomato using antisense and RNAi technology (Showalter)
  • Programmed cell death in plants and the role of arabinogalactan-proteins in this process (Showalter)
  • Structure and function of a novel, modular arabinogalactan-protein from tomato (Showalter and Kieliszewski)
  • Synthetic genes for de novo glycoprotein design and the elucidation of hydroxyproline-O-glycosylation codes (Kieliszewski)

External Funding Sources

  • American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology
  • National Science Foundation
  • Ohio Board of Regents
  • Ohio Plant Biotechnology Consortium
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture

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