Liza E Alexander

People
Graduate Research Assistant, Nikolau Research Group

Project

Mass Spectrometric Imaging of Plant Metabolites

The overarching objective of my project is to functionally characterize genetic and metabolic networks that interrelate with the intracellular and extracellular lipid metabolism responsible for the production of epicuticular surface lipids of plants. To answer this my project focuses on a series of proteins that are homologs of Gl2 of maize, which are also sequence homologs of Arabidopsis Cer2 protein. The proteins encoded by these two genes express their biochemical function within the cell interior, specifically in the ER membranes possibly affecting fatty acid elongation. The effect of the genes on the extracellular cuticular lipid deposition has been profiled via GC-MS and the spatial localization of these metabolites established by mass spectrometric imaging (FT-ICR), By employing both MS-based, biochemistry and genetic approaches the function of the Gl2/Cer2 proteins will become clearer and in turn a wider understanding of the interrelation between intra- and extra- cellular lipid biogenesis.

Area of Expertise: 
Biochemistry
Plant lipid metabolism
Microscopy
Major: 
Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
Education: 
M.Sc. Biotechnology, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala, India
B.Sc. Industrial Microbiology and Biochemistry, University of Kerala, India
Contact
515-294-0347
2232 Molecular Biology Building
Ames
IA
50011-3260