Ana Alonso | BioDiscovery Institute
UNT Banner

Ana Alonso

Dr. Ana Alonso standing in front of BDI sign/symbol (DNA helix inside test tube)
Associate 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; she is Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and the director of the BioAnalytical Facility.


  • Regulation of carbon partitioning through plant central metabolism
  • Deciphering the metabolism of human fungal pathogen
  • Production of valuable plant storage compounds, such as sugars, proteins, starch, oils, and cellulose
  • Enhancing the flow of carbon towards the production of unusual fatty acids - for biofuel and industrial applications - by metabolic engineering
  • Understanding the effect of biotic and abiotic stresses on plant metabolism
  • Approaches: Metabolomics and 13C-based Metabolic Flux Analysis (aka fluxomics)


  1. USDA-NIFA 2021-67013-33777 Alonso (PI) 01/15/2021 - 01/14/2024, Role: PI Mapping the Pathways Leading to Industrially Relevant Fatty Acids in Physaria fendleri
  2. DOE-BER DE-SC0019233 Alonso (PI) 09/01/18 - 08/31/21, Role: PI Development of Resources and Tools to Improve Oil Content and Quality in Pennycress
  3. NIH RO1 AI148561 Rappleye (PI) 03/10/2020-02/28/2025 Role: co-PI Intracellular Proliferation of the Fungal Pathogen Histoplasma capsulatum
  4. NSF-DoB 1638999 Slot (PI) 09/01/16 - 08/31/21 Role: Co-PI Collaborative Research : Dimensions : Secondary Metabolites as Drivers of Fungal Endophyte Community Diversity
  5. DOE-BER DE-SC0020325 Alonso (PI) 09/15/19 - 09/14/22, Role: PI Functional Analysis of Candidate Genes Involved in Oil Storage and Stability in Pennycress
  6. United Soybean Board 2020-162-0119 McHale (PI) 10/01/20 - 09/30/21, Role: Co-PI Towards the Development of High-Yielding Cultivars & Germplasm with Optimum Oil and Protein Content and Innovative Oil Attributes for the Current Market


Highly motivated graduate students and postdocs are welcome to contact Dr. Alonso by email to inquire about openings in various projects aiming to study the metabolism of human pathogens, bioenergy crops, and food crops.

Lab manager: Emmanuel Ortiz (Research Assistant)

Research Scientist II: Umesh Yadav, Ph.D

Postdoctoral Researchers: Cintia Arias, Ph.D; Fernanda Castro-Moretti, Ph.D; Christopher Johnston, Ph.D; Julius Van Sagun, Ph. D

Research Assistant: Ademar Moretti

Graduate Students: Dhiraj Dowkal (co-mentored with Dr. Dickstein); Amira Rasoul

Undergraduate Students: Emma Bentoski; Emily Chang; Alexander Dunaway; Jordan LaChance; Krina Patel



  1. 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)
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Cocuron J.C, Ross Z, Alonso A.P (2020) Liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry quantification of 13C-labeling in sugars. Metabolites 10(1), 30
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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)
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. Dieuaide-Noubhani M and Alonso A.P (2014) Application of metabolic flux analysis to plants. Methods in Molecular Biology. 1090, 1-17.
  23. Koubaa M, Cocuron J.C, Thomasset B, Alonso A.P. (2013) Highlighting the tricarboxylic acid cycle: liquid and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analyses of 13C labeled organic acids. Analytical Biochemistry, 436(2), 151-159.
  24. Chen X, Alonso A.P, Shachar-Hill Y. (2013) Dynamic metabolic flux analysis of plant cell wall synthesis. Metab Eng., 18, 78-85.
  25. Wang Y, Alonso A.P, Wilkerson C.G, Keegstra K. (2012) Deep EST profiling of developing fenugreek endosperm to investigate galactomannan biosynthesis and its regulation. Plant Mol Biol 79(3), 243-258.
  26. Chen X, Alonso A.P, Allen D.K, Reed J.L and Shachar-Hill Y. (2011) Synergy between 13C-Metabolic Flux Analysis and Flux Balance Analysis for understanding metabolic adaption to anaerobiosis in E. coli. Metab Eng. 13(1), 38-48.
  27. Alonso A.P*, Val D and Shachar-Hill Y. (2011) Central metabolic fluxes in the endosperm of developing maize seeds and their implications for metabolic engineering. Metab Eng., 13(1), 96-107. (* corresponding author)

Thinking about UNT?

It's easy to apply online. Join us and discover why we're the choice of over 38,000 students.

Apply now