Ana Alonso | BioDiscovery Institute

Ana Alonso

Dr. Ana Alonso standing in front of BDI sign/symbol (DNA helix inside test tube)
BDI Associate Director/Professor

Ana Paula Alonso, PhD. obtained her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D in Biological and Medical Sciences from the Université Victor Segalen in Bordeaux, France. After four years of postdoctoral training in seed metabolism (Michigan State University), and microbial metabolism (Institut National des Sciences Appliquées, Toulouse, France), she joined the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center in 2008 as a Visiting Assistant Professor to work in the exciting field of biofuel research. In 2010, Dr. Alonso accepted a position as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics at The Ohio State University where she was the Director of the Targeted Metabolomics Laboratory; she was promoted to Associate Professor in 2016. Dr. Alonso joined the BioDiscovery Institute at the University of North Texas in 2018 and most recently appointed Associate Director of the BioDiscovery Institute; she is a Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and the director of the BioAnalytical Facility.


  • Addressing global challenges related to food and energy security

  • Improving seed and plant metabolism

  • Developing alternative crops for biofuel and industrial applications

  • Understanding plant-microbe interactions

  • Deciphering the metabolism of human fungal pathogen

  • Approaches: Mass Spectrometry-based Metabolomics and 13C-based Metabolic Flux Analysis (aka fluxomics)

For Prospective Graduate Students

Apply to the Graduate Program in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


  • USDA-NIFA 2021-67013-33777 Alonso (PI) 01/15/2021 - 01/14/2025 Mapping the Pathways Leading to Industrially Relevant Fatty Acids in Physaria fendleri
  • NIH RO1 AI148561 Rappleye (PI) 03/10/2020-02/28/2025 Role: co-PI Intracellular Proliferation of the Fungal Pathogen Histoplasma capsulatum
  • DOE-BER DE-SC0020325 Alonso (PI) 09/15/19 - 09/14/24, Role: PI Functional Analysis of Candidate Genes Involved in Oil Storage and Stability in Pennycress

  • Keck Foundation: Skellam (PI) 08/2022-12/2025, Role: Co-PI. Greenhouse Based Production of Fungal-Derived Medicines


  1. Cocuron J.C, Alonso A.P (2024) 13C-labeling reveals non-conventional pathways providing carbon for hydroxy fatty acid synthesis in Physaria fendleri. J Exp Bot. 75(6), 1754-1766.
  2. Baker C.R, Cocuron J.C, Alonso A.P, Niyogi K.K (2023) Time-resolved systems analysis of the induction of high photosynthetic capacity in Arabidopsis during acclimation to high light. New Phytologist 240(6): 2335-2352
  3. Amir R, Martínez-Force Enrique, Shi Jianxin, Alonso A.P (2023) Editorial: Metabolic architecture of developing seeds and grains. Front. Plant Sci., 14:1258353
  4. Arias C.L, Garcia Navarrete L.T, Mukundi E, Swanson T, Yang F, Hernandez J, Grotewold E, Alonso A.P (2023) Metabolic and transcriptomic study of pennycress natural variation identifies targets for oil improvement. Plant Biotech J., 21:1887-1903.
  5. Al Sulaimi R, Maknojia A, Eskandari M, Shirani A; Gautam B, Park W, Whitehead P, Alonso A.P, Sedbrook J.C, Chapman K.D, Berman D (2023) Evaluating the Effects of Very Long Chain and Hydroxy Fatty Acid Content on Tribological Performance and Thermal Oxidation Behavior of Plant-Based Lubricants. Tribol. Int., 185:108576
  6. Sagun J.V, Yadav U.P, Alonso A.P (2023) Progress in understanding and improving oil content and quality in seeds. Front Plant Sci., 14:1116894
  7. Castro-Moretti F.R, Cocuron J.C, Castillo-Gonzalez H, Escudero-Leyva E, Chaverri P, Guerreiro-Filho O, Slot J.C, Alonso A.P (2023) A metabolomic platform to identify and quantify polyphenols in coffee and related species using liquid chromatography mass spectrometry. Front. Plant Sci., 13:1057645
  8. Romsdahl T.B, Cocuron J.C, Pearson M.J, Alonso A.P*, Chapman K.D* (2022) A lipidomics platform to analyze the fatty acid compositions of non-polar and polar lipids from plant tissues: examples from developing seeds and seedlings of pennycress (Thlaspi arvense). Front. Plant Sci., 13:1038161 (* co-corresponding authors)
  9. Johnston C, García Navarrete LT, Ortiz E, Romsdahl TB, Guzha A, Chapman KD, Grotewold E, Alonso AP. (2022) Effective mechanisms for improving seed oil production in pennycress (Thlaspi arvense L.) highlighted by integration of comparative metabolomics and transcriptomics. Front. Plant Sci., 13: 943585.
  10. Arias C, Quach T, Huynh T, Nguyen H, Moretti A, Shi Y, Guo M, Rasoul A, Van K, McHale L, Clemente T.E, Alonso A.P*, Zhang C* (2022) Expression of AtWRI1 and AtDGAT1 during soybean embryo development influences oil and carbohydrate metabolism. Plant Biotechnol J., 20, 1327-1345. (* co-corresponding authors)
  11. García T, Arias C, Gomez-Cano F, Mukundi E, Alonso A.P, Grotewold E (2022) Natural variation and improved genome annotation of the emerging biofuel crop field pennycress (Thlaspi arvense). G3, 12(6), jkac084.
  12. Gentzel I, Giese L, Ekanayake G, Mikhail K, Zhao W, Cocuron J.C, Alonso A.P, Mackey D (2022) Dynamic nutrient acquisition from a hydrated apoplast supports biotrophic proliferation of a bacterial pathogen of maize. Cell Host & Microbe 30(4), 502-517.
  13. Dokwal D, Cocuron J.C, Alonso A.P, Dickstein R (2022) Metabolite shift in Medicago truncatula occurs in phosphorus deprivation. J Exp Bot.,73(7), 2093-2111.
  14. Destailleur A, Poucet T, Cabasson C, Alonso A.P, Cocuron J.-C, Larbat R, Vercambre G, Colombié S, Petriacq P, Andrieu M.H, Beauvoit B, Gibon Y, Dieuaide-Noubhani M (2021) The evolution of leaf function during development is reflected in profound changes in the metabolic composition of the vacuole. Metabolites 11(12), 848.
  15. Castro-Moretti F.R, Cocuron J.C, Cia M.C, Cataldi T.R, Labate C.A, Alonso A.P, Camargo L.E.A (2021) Targeted metabolic profiles of leaves and xylem sap of two sugarcane genotypes infected with the vascular bacterial pathogen Leifsonia xyli subsp. xyli. Metabolites 11, 234.
  16. Romsdahl T, Kambhampati S, Koley S, Yadav U.P, Alonso A.P, Allen D.K, Chapman K.D (2021) Analyzing mass spectrometry imaging data of 13C-labeled phospholipids in Camelina sativa and Thlaspi arvense (pennycress) embryos. Metabolites 11(3), 148.
  17. Dokwal D, Romsdahl T, Kunz D.A, Alonso A.P, Dickstein R (2021) Phosphorus deprivation affects composition and spatial distribution of membrane lipids in legume nodules. Plant Phys. (in press)
  18. Moretti A, Arias C.L, Mozzoni L.A, Chen P, McNeece B.T, Mian M.A, McHale L.K, Alonso A.P (2020) Workflow for the quantification of soluble and insoluble carbohydrates in soybean seed. Molecules 25(17), 3806.
  19. Tsogtbaatar E, Cocuron J.C, Alonso A.P (2020) Non-conventional pathways enable pennycress (Thlaspi arvense L.) embryos to achieve high efficiency of oil biosynthesis. J Exp Bot., 71(10), 3037-3051.
  20. Castro-Moretti F.R, Cocuron J.C, Vega F.E, Alonso A.P (2020) Differential metabolic responses caused by the most important insect pest of coffee worldwide, the coffee berry borer (Hypothenemus hampei). J. Agric. Food Chem. 68(8), 2597-2605.
  21. Cocuron J.C, Ross Z, Alonso A.P (2020) Liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry quantification of 13C-labeling in sugars. Metabolites 10(1), 30
  22. Castro-Moretti F.R, Gentzel I.N, Mackey D, Alonso A.P (2020) Metabolomics as an Emerging Tool for the Study of Plant-Pathogen Interactions. Metabolites 10(2), 52.
  23. Cocuron J.C, Koubaa M, Kimmelfield R, Ross Z, Alonso A.P (2019) A combined metabolomics and fluxomics analysis identifies steps limiting oil synthesis in maize embryos. Plant Physiol. 181(3), 961-975
  24. Huseby C.J, Hoffman C.N, Cooper G.L, Cocuron J.C, Alonso A.P, Thomas S.N, Yang A.J, Kuret J. (2019) Quantification of Tau protein lysine methylation in aging and Alzheimer's disease. J Alzheimers Dis. 71 (3), 979-991
  25. Gentzel I.N, Giese L, Zhao W, Alonso A.P, Mackey D.M (2019) A simple method for measuring apoplast hydration and collecting apoplast. Plant Physiol. 179, 1265-1272
  26. Cocuron J.C, Casas M.I, Yang F, Grotewold E, Alonso A.P (2019) Beyond the wall: High-throughput quantification of plant soluble and cell-wall bound phenolics by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. J Chromatogr A. 1589, 93-104.
  27. Cooper G.L, Huseby C.J, Chandler C.N, Cocuron J-C, Alonso A.P, Kuret J (2018) A liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry approach for quantification of protein methylation stoichiometry. Anal Biochem. 545, 72-77.
  28. Santosh D, Balasubramaniam V.M, Cocuron J-C, Alonso A.P, Egcam E., Kamat S. (2017) Pressure-thermal kinetics of furan formation in selected fruit and vegetable juices. Food and Bioprocess Technology 10(11), 1959-1969.
  29. McClure T, Cocuron J-C, Osmark V, McHale L, Alonso A.P (2017) Impact of environment on the biomass composition of soybean (Glycine max) seeds. J Agric Food Chem 65(32), 6753-6761.
  30. Corkins M.E, Wilson S, Cocuron J-C, Alonso A.P, Bird A.J. (2017) The gluconate shunt is an alternative route for directing glucose into pentose phosphate pathway in fission yeast. J Biol Chem. 292(33), 13823-13832.
  31. Casas M.I, Vaughan MJ, Bonello P, McSpadden-Gardener B, Grotewold E, Alonso A.P. (2017) Identification of biochemical features of defective Coffea arabica L. beans. Food Res Int. 95, 59-67.
  32. Cocuron J-C, Tsogtbaatar E, Alonso A.P. (2017) High-throughput quantification of the levels and labeling abundance of free amino acids by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. J Chromatogr A. 1490, 148-155.
  33. Horn P.J, Liu J, Cocuron J.C, McGlew K, Thrower N.A, Larson M, Lu C, Alonso A.P, Ohlrogge J (2016) Identification of multiple lipid genes with modifications in expression and sequence associated with the volution of hydroxyl fatty acid accumulation in Physaria fendleri. Plant J. 86(4), 322-348.
  34. de Souza A.P, Cocuron J-C, Garcia A.C, Alonso A.P*, Buckeridge M*(2015) Changes in whole-plant metabolism during grain-filling stage in Sorghum bicolor L. (Moench) grown under elevated CO2 and drought. Plant Physiol. 69(3), 1755-1765. (* co-corresponding authors)
  35. Tsogtbaatar E, Cocuron J-C, Corchado Sonera M, Alonso A.P (2015) Metabolite fingerprinting of pennycress (Thlaspi arvense L.) embryos to assess active pathways during oil synthesis. J Exp Bot. 66(14), 4267-4277.
  36. Cocuron J-C and Alonso A.P (2014) Liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry for measuring 13C-labeling in intermediates of the glycolysis and pentose-phosphate pathway. Methods in Molecular Biology. 1090, 131-142.
  37. Cocuron J-C, Anderson B, Boyd A, Alonso A.P (2014) Targeted metabolomics of Physaria fendleri, an industrial crop producing hydroxy fatty acids. Plant & Cell Physiol., 55(3), 620-33.
  38. Dieuaide-Noubhani M and Alonso A.P (2014) Application of metabolic flux analysis to plants. Methods in Molecular Biology. 1090, 1-17.