Project Summary: This multi-disciplinary team will develop new integrated novel multi-spectral imaging technologies that will assess and quantitatively model metabolic processes that are asymmetrically distributed at the cellular and subcellular levels of plant organs. The imaging technology development will be in the context of computational capabilities that will integrate multi-spectral images with genome scale modeling and thus contribute to the better understanding how biomass-based biofuel producing metabolic pathways are interconnected and controlled within topological constraints in spatially defined subcellular regions within plant cells.
Objective: The project will adapt and integrate multi-spectral, high spatial resolution analytical imaging capabilities that have been independently developed in partnerships between ISU and Ames Lab, but targeted for non-biological materials analyses. These include Raman and fluorescence lifetime (FLIM) imaging developed by Smith and Petrich groups, and dynamic FLIM molecular probes developed by the Winter group. In this project, we will adapt these imaging technologies to biological materials and integrate them with mass-spectrometric imaging (MSI) capabilities developed by the Lee, Houk and Nikolau groups. These novel molecular imaging capabilities will be unified with traditional high-resolution visual imaging capabilities to enable linking exceptional molecular-scale information to recognizable subcellular and cellular structures, and thus empowering systems-level understanding of metabolism.