Sarah O'Connor | BioDiscovery Institute

Sarah O'Connor

Harnessing Natural Product Pathways

Synthetic biology approaches are being used with increasing success to overproduce medicinally and agriculturally important plant-derived molecules in heterologous hosts such as yeast or tobacco. However, to pursue such approaches effectively, we must first fully understand the chemistry and biology of the biosynthetic pathways that generate these molecules. Given the complexity of plants and plant genomics, this pathway discovery process has been a major bottleneck in harnessing the chemical power of plants. Our research aims to develop methods and resources to unlock the biosynthesis of complex molecules produced by plants. We also explore mechanism by which these complex plant pathways have evolved.

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