October 2, 2020 at 4:45 pm

Plant Biology Colloquium | Heteroxylan Biosynthesis and Novel Technology for Functional Genomics, Oct. 30

Dr. Ahmed Faik, portrait

Dr. Ahmed Faik

The Environmental & Plant Biology Colloquium Series presents Dr. Ahmed Faik discussing “Heteroxylan biosynthesis (so many genes, so little known) and novel technology for functional genomics” on Oct. 30 at 11:50 a.m.

Faik is Associate Professor of Environmental & Plant Biology at Ohio University.

Abstract: My talk will cover the two main research projects focusing on 1) heteroxylan biosynthesis and regulation and 2) development of new tools for functional genomics of plant cell wall biosynthesis.

Heteroxylans represent the third most abundant biopolymer on Earth after cellulose and lignin. They constitute the major hemicellulosic polysaccharides in cell walls (CWs) of grasses and trees and an abnormal heteroxylans content of CWs in general, leads to abnormal plant growth. My lab is using functional genomics to elucidate heteroxylans function, biosynthesis, and regulation. I will present the progress made in three different areas of the projects i) identification and functional characterization of xylan synthase complexes in rice, ii) cell biology of heteroxylan biosynthesis, and iii) identification of regulators of primary cell wall biosynthesis in rice.

Functional genomics involves the combination of multiple approaches (i.e., bioinformatics, transcriptomics, and/or proteomics) to identify candidate genes for functional analysis using two main approaches: i) genetics approaches for detailed analyses of gene expression and both gain and loss of function, and ii) biochemical and cellular approaches to determine the function/activity of proteins and their metabolic pathways. In contrast to genetics approaches, biochemical approaches are the least adapted to large-scale analyses. My lab is adapting a novel technology called Nucleic Acid Programmable Protein Array (NAPPA) for high throughput of biochemical functions of glycosyltransferases, the enzymes responsible for the synthesis of all carbohydrates on Earth. I will also present the progress made in this project.

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