Sattely Lab: Applications and Discovery of Plant Chemistry
Plants are prolific small molecule factories that harvest CO2 to produce compounds ranging from human therapeutics to the building blocks of energy-rich lignocellulosic biomass. The metabolic pathways are incredibly diverse and hold opportunities for the development of sustainable biofuel feedstocks, green chemical synthesis, and the discovery of new plant-based medicines. Modern challenges in non-petroleum energy and materials production have recast a longstanding interest in plant chemistry as a platform for next generation technologies. We envision a future in which plant chemistry is a leading resource for the energy, materials, and health sectors. Such applications motivate us to find new ways to elucidate and engineer plant metabolism. Our lab uses a multidisciplinary approach combining chemistry, enzymology, genetics, and metabolomics to tackle problems that include new methods for deconvolution of lignocellulosic biomass and the engineering of plant antibiotic biosynthesis.
Plant Antibiotic Production
Current efforts to elucidate how and why commonly consumed plants in the crucifer family such as Chinese cabbage produce antibiotics, as well as how these metabolites impact the human microbiome, could reveal new ways to reprogram plant-based nutrition.
New Methods for Chemoenzymatic Synthesis and Depolymerization of Plant Molecules
This project has two goals: (1) To reveal the highly efficient mechanisms plants use to generate molecular complexity, which will enable future protein engineering efforts and the development of new synthetic methodologies. (2) To develop new methods for controlled deconvolution of lignocellulosic biomass.