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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Science
February 26, 2015
Canadian Excellence



Biology Research Seminar

Dr. J. Baltzer

published: 2008 | Presentation | Research Seminar

Laurier Biology Seminar – February 27, 2015

Speaker:     Dr. Robert Mullen
Title:           Biogenesis of lipid droplets in plant cells: engineering vegetative tissues for biofuel                        production
Time:          3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Location:    N1044 with a reception to follow in N1046

All are welcome to attend this free event


The seed oils of plants are extensively utilized for food, cooking, and fuel, and the demand for plant oils will only increase as world population continues to grow. Research in my lab is striving to engineer metabolic processes in plants to enhance accumulation of the storage oil in vegetative tissues (e.g., leaves and stems), with the end-goal of massively increasing the amounts of oil that can be recovered from plants. The rationale is that the biomass of plant vegetative tissues is far greater than that of seeds, and thus production of high amounts of the energy dense storage oils in a plant’s vegetative biomass represents a very promising way to generate sustainable and economically-viable sources of vegetable oil. In this seminar I will describe a variety of the molecular and cell biology-based approaches that we are using to increase the steady-state amount of oil in plant leaves, including our recent efforts aimed at identifying and characterizing the protein factors involved in the biogenesis of the organelle responsible for storage oil compartmentalization within cells, the lipid droplet. Collectively, these studies are not only defining the molecular mechanisms underlying the formation, maintenance, and turnover of lipid droplets in plant cells, but are also providing new insights to potentially novel engineering strategies for increasing oil content in plant vegetative tissues.

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revised Oct 15/10

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