"Metabolic engineering of plant biosynthetic pathways through manipulation of protein complex formation" will be presented by Oliver Yu from the Danforth Plant Science Center 4 p.m., April 10 at Beadle Center room N172.
Yu received his bachelor's degree from the Department of Biophysics at the Fudan University in Shanghai, China, and Ph.D. from the Department of Biology at the University of South Carolina. He did his postdoctoral training at the DuPont Company in Wilmington, Del.
He joined the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in 2001, serving as an Assistant Member, and later an Associate Member and Principal Investigator. He is currently an adjunct professor at the Department of Biology, Washington University in St Louis, and the Division of Plant Sciences at University of Missouri-Columbia.
Yu researches flavonoids, a group of ubiquitous and diverse small molecules synthesized by the phenylpropanoid pathway in higher plants. They have co-evolved with plants since the beginning of their land colonization millions of years ago. In legumes, isoflavones are major flavonoid compounds. Isoflavones may function as phyto-estrogens in animals and play a major part in health benefits related to soy consumption.
In plants, isoflavones are involved in many plant-microbe interactions. They are the major defense compounds that inhibit the growth of invading pathogens and activate programmed cell death in the infected tissue. Flavonoids and isoflavonoids also serve as signal molecules and chemo-attractants for symbiotic rhizobia. His lab focuses on the function and regulation of flavonoid and isoflavonoid biosynthesis.
More details at: http://events.unl.edu/2012/04/10/64197/