Research Lab Members:
Odom, Obed W.
Most of our research revolves around the chloroplast genome of plants and algae, which we view as a simpler model genome (compared to the nucleus) for understanding genome expression, regulation, and evolution. We have paid particular attention to the introns, since they have dynamic functions, such as self-splicing and the ability to spread to new alleles. Also, during evolution, they can move horizontally to new genes or even new organisms. We have also studied the circadian regulation of chloroplast transcription, and more recently the translational role of a novel rhodanese-domain protein.
A few years ago we began to use a novel intron-encoded endonuclease, I-CreII, to study how chloroplasts repair a broken chromosome; surprisingly little is known about DNA repair in this constantly stressed organelle. This work is being performed with Chlamydomonas spp., Arabidopsis, and tobacco, as these organisms offer complementary advantages for the study of chloroplast genomics.
Like many other researchers, we have become interested in biofuels, especially from algae. We initiated a project on anaerobic metabolism in Chlamydomonas, which produces ethanol, hydrogen, and organic acids from photosynthetically fixed starch, when oxygen is limiting. We are trying to increase the amount of ethanol that is produced by using metabolic engineering.
Kwon, T., E. Huq and D.L. Herrin,
Microhomology-Mediated and Nonhomologous Repair of a Double-Strand Break in the Chloroplast Genome of Arabidopsis.,
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci USA
Corina, L.E., W. Qiu, A. Desai and D.L. Herrin,
Biochemical and Mutagenic Analysis of I-CreII Reveals Distinct but Important Roles for both the H-N-H and GIY-YIG Motifs,
Nucleic Acids Research
Odom, O.W., K-H. Baek, R.N. Dani and D.L. Herrin,
Chlamydomonas Chloroplasts Can Use Short Dispersed Repeats (SDRs) and Multiple Pathways to Repair a Double-Strand Break in the Genome,
Zicker,A., C. Kadakia and D.L. Herrin ,
Distinct Roles for the 5' and 3' Untranslated Regions in the Degradation and Accumulation of Chloroplast tufA mRNA: Identification of an Early Intermediate in the In Vivo Degradation Pathway.,
Plant Mol. Biol.