Recent NSERC CRC II in Plant Bioproducts
(2006 – 2016)
Dr. Ro’s research focuses on metabolic and chemical biology in plants and microbes. Our society is heavily dependent on the cost-effective and sustainable supplies of pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, industrial chemicals, and bio-fuels, derived from various plants and microbes. In-depth understanding of their biosynthesis and regulation in native hosts, together with synthetic metabolic redesign in heterologous organisms, can allow us to produce a diverse array of chemicals for human health and industrial uses. However, biosynthetic mechanism and metabolic regulation of many naturally occurring chemicals are still not fully understood. We use interdisciplinary and integrative research approaches, such as molecular genetics, biochemical, cell biological, and genomics tools, to advance our knowledge of metabolic and chemical biology in plants and microbes.
Specific research activities in Dr. Ro’s lab are as follows:
1. Chemical diversity and evolution of sesquiterpene lactone in lettuce, sunflower, and related Asteraceae (Compositae) plants.
2. Natural rubber biosynthesis in lettuce (Latuca sativa)
3. Comparative genomics of proanthcyanidin biosynthesis in pea (Pisum sativum) and Arabidopsis.
4. Functional transcriptomics of medicinal plants and implementation of synthetic metabolism in microbe and plant by various biotechnological tools.
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