🏢 Mcdonald Campus, Raymond Building, Room R1-019
🔬 Research interest: Plant metabolism, biochemistry, synthetic biology, isoflavonoids, legumes, metabolomics, enzyme evolution, yeast
The Dastmalchi lab is in the Department of Plant Science, and we are focused on developing the tools and knowledge to unravel the mysteries of specialized metabolism in plants. We are interested in the legumes (Fabaceae) and a class of phenolic compounds characteristic of this family, known as isoflavonoids. They are of immense interest for crops, deterring harmful microbes and attracting nitrogen-fixing symbiosis. Isoflavonoids are also associated with human health benefits and include anticancer drug targets. Biosynthesis of these compounds is intricately regulated in the plant, encompassing many branches and end-products that produce a complex cocktail. We are seeking to address the knowledge gap both in biosynthesis and regulation of isoflavonoids. The lab will translate this knowledge into the metabolic engineering of plants (via genome-editing) and creating heterologous biofoundries (via synthetic biology) to produce high-value compounds.