Probing Plant Metabolism: The Machineries of [Fe-S] Cluster Assembly and Flavonoid Biosynthesis

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Virginia Tech

The organization of metabolism is an essential feature of cellular biochemistry. Metabolism does not occur as a linear assembly of freely diffusing enzymes, but as a complex web in which multiple interactions are possible. Because of the crowded environment of the cell, there must be structured and ordered mechanisms that control metabolic pathways. The following work will examine two metabolic pathways, one that is ubiquitous among living organisms and another that is entirely unique to plants, and examine the organization of each in an attempt to further define mechanisms that are fundamental features of metabolic control. One study offers some of the first characterizations of genes involved in [Fe-S] cluster assembly in Arabidopsis. The other explores the mechanisms that control localization of an enzyme that is part of the well-characterized flavonoid biosynthetic pathway. These two distinct pathways serve as unique models for genetic and biochemical studies that contribute to our overall understanding of plant metabolism.

intracellular localization, chalcone synthase, [Fe-S] cluster assembly, flavonoid biosynthesis, confocal microscopy