Untapping the potential of small effecter molecules produced by endophytic microbes for cellulose modification strategies

Grants and Contracts Details


The enormous chemical biodiversity that exists in nature is key to establishing ecological interactions between organisms a nd has been exploited for thousands of years by human cultures for agriculture, medicine and societal uses. Bioactive chemicals produced in nature are typically secondary metabolites from highly specific organisms. This specificity and rarity provides economic rationale for urgent stabilization and sustainability of Earths natural biodiversity. Despite around two third of modern drugs, herbicides, pesticides and antimicrobials being derived from nature, we have only begun to realize the complexity and potential importance of these compounds and the organisms from which they are derived. In the current proposal it is sought to examine a frontier of chemical diversity that exists between an endophytic microorganism and a host plant. The target region of the host plant metabolism is cellulose biosynthesis, as it is an essential component of every plant cell's extracellular matric (cell wall). Cellulose is also the most abundant biopolymer on Earth and of great societal importance (food, clothing, shelter and fuel). Therefore, much applied interest exists in fundamental discoveries of compounds that modulate cellulose biosynthesis. The proposed research will couple chemical fingerprinting with chemical genetics and live cell imaging to delineate the identity of bioactive chemical constituents and the mechanism by which they act.
Effective start/end date9/15/138/31/16


  • National Science Foundation: $165,814.00


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