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ILSC Monthly Seminar: Thursday, February 21, 2013


January: Michael Taylor
February: Marna Yandeau-Nelson
March: Paul Lockman
April: Martin Gruebele


January: David D. Thomas
February: Elizabeth Austin-Minor
March: Juliette Lecomte
April: David Millar
May: Lukas Tamm
September: David Millar
September: Dongping Zhong
October: Jonathan V. Rocheleau
November: Yevgenya Grinblat
December: Michael Graner


January: Clay Carter
February (a): Anne Kenworthy
February (b): Jennifer Liang
March: Joe Johnson
April: Marco Ciufolini
May: Gary Pielak
October: Matthew Andrews
December: Andrew Skildum


November: Rui Wang
October: Marshall Hampton

Fatty Acids: Paths to Biorenewable Chemicals, Fuels and Plant Protection

Speaker: Dr. Marna Yandeau-Nelson
Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics &
Molecular Biology, NSF Engineering
Research Center for Biorenewable
Chemicals, Iowa State Universityl
Time/Place: Thursday, February 21, 2013; 3:00 PM / 130 SMed
Host: Clay Carter (x7347, cjcarter@d.umn.edu)

Abstract: Society's reliance on non-renewable energy sources (e.g. petroleum) has become a globally important issue. As a result, there is growing interest in developing biorenewable or "green" routes to producing chemicals and fuels. Fatty acids are not only integral building blocks within the cell that provide critical functions (energy storage, membrane integrity, protection and signaling), but they also have chemical properties that make these molecules ideal precursors in the path toward generating biorenewable products. Moreover, fatty acids can be further converted within the cell to hydrocarbons, which protect plant surfaces from environmental stresses and are therefore useful in developing sustainable agricultural practices.

This talk focuses on interdisciplinary approaches we are using to address two rather diverse practical applications of fatty acid synthesis. First, our group is dissecting the roles of fatty acid-derived hydrocarbons in plant protection and identifying the genes that function in their synthesis. Second, as members of the Center for Biorenewable Chemicals, we are engineering the fatty acid biosynthesis pathway to produce the bio-based precursors for biorenewable chemicals.

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