Research

June 10, 2019 at 7:57 am

Showalter Receives Baker Award for Study of Plant Cell Wall Proteins

Dr. Allan Showalter’s lab is studying Arabidopsis thaliana, a plant commonly used as a model organism for genetic studies.

Dr. Allan Showalter’s lab is studying Arabidopsis thaliana, a plant commonly used as a model organism for genetic studies.

Genetic Dissection and Functional Characterization of the Hydroxyproline-Galactosyltransferase Gene Family in Arabidopsis Thaliana

From Compass

Dr. Allan Showalter, Professor and Chair of Environmental and Plant Biology, was awarded $12,000 from the John C. Baker Fund to continue a biological experiment that examines a class of plant cell wall proteins known as arabinogalactan-proteins (AGPs).

Composed of 90 percent sugar, AGPs are critical to plant development. Showalter’s research will study the sugar gene family that controls AGP sugar function, known as hydroxyproline-galactosyltransferase (GALT). By studying how GALT influences APG sugar addition and function, researchers hope to better understand how AGPs influence plant growth and function at the molecular and cellular level. More broadly, the research could be useful in designing AGP-based bioproducts and engineering plants with improved wall properties to meet industrial needs, including biomass and bioenergy production.

These research efforts will include four OHIO students – two graduate students and two undergraduates. The results are expected to be presented at international, national, regional and local scientific meetings and conferences; to be published in peer-reviewed scientific journals; and to be used to secure future research funding from the National Science Foundation.

Showalter was one of five Ohio University faculty members awarded a total of $57,968 from the John C. Baker Fund during the 2019 spring semester for research and scholarly work that embodies the commitment to excellence embraced by both the fund’s namesake and the alumni who created it.

Each fall and spring, the John C. Baker Fund provides competitive awards of up to $12,000 to support faculty and staff research, scholarship and creative activity, with preference given to projects that are near completion and can be brought to completion with the funding.

Read more in Compass.

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