Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Laboratory for Cellular Metabolism and Engineering Home of the Gang Lab

Biochemical Genomics

Most of the knowledge we have regarding the biosynthesis of plant specialized metabolites has been acquired piecemeal, by individual researchers concentrating on one or a few reactions at a time. The advent of large scale automated sequencing (genomics), related methods for analysis of gene function (functional genomics), bioinformatics, improvements in chemical analysis instrumentation (mass spectrometry for metabolic profiling), and the ability to purify proteins and analyze their function much more rapidly than before now allow a biochemical functional genomics approach to this problem. Not only will it soon be possible to quickly identify all of the enzymes in the natural products biochemical pathways active in selected plant species, but we are now able to easily find important regulatory elements, such as transcription factors and signaling pathway members. This enables us to better understand and potentially rationally control the regulation and flux into specific pathways for the production of specific compounds that are found to be important for human health, for industrial application, or for biofuel production.