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Organic Chemistry Seminar
April 23 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Parvaneh Ahmadvand (Kang Group)
4-Coumaroyl-CoenzymeA Ligase in the monolignol pathway
Biomass as a renewable carbon source for the generation of biofuels and biomaterials has become increasingly important in the quest for sustainable development. Plant secondary cell walls, which have a complex structure consisting of cellulose, hemi cellulosic polysaccharides and lignin, constitute the majority of plant biomass. At the step of refinery, in the different chemical and physical processes, these various polymers are separated. Polysaccharides are hydrolyzed to fermentable sugars, whereas the lignin can be used as composites, nanoparticles and carbon fibers. There are there types of lignin: H (soft), G (semi hard), S (hard). Of the several enzymes in the phenylpropanoid pathway, 4-coumaroyl-CoA ligase (4CL) is the central enzyme. Sorghum bicolor, the fifth most important cereal crop, is a plant that is a candidate for producing large volumes of biomass, in part because its tolerance for drought and a wide pH range. The brown midrib (BMR) is a genetic mutation that results in a forage with a reduced lignin content, increased protein content and higher palatability. 4CL catalyzes the synthesis of hydroxycinnamoyl-CoA thioesters, the precursors of lignin and other important phenylpropanoids. The research is aimed at obtaining a better understanding of those Bmr2 and its mutations through their structural characteristics. Based on enzymatic assays, analysis of kinetics, a plausible mechanism for its broad substrate specificity will be proposed. This will open a new perspective on understanding the catalytic process and innovative ways to change the amount of H, G, and S lignin so that cellulose can be more easily accessed for biofuel production.