Library News

Faculty Colloquium, February 28th, 2014

Please join us this Friday, February 28th at 2:00 pm in the Hatfield Room for this week’s Faculty Colloquium.

Our speaker will be:fisherfull
Alison J. Fisher, Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Title:  Isoprene synthase from heath star moss: A possible window into the evolution and function of isoprene production by land plants

Abstract:  Isoprene (2-methyl-1,3-butadiene) is the most abundant volatile organic compound (VOC) released from land plants.  Indeed, plants release over 600 million tons of isoprene each year into the atmosphere.  Once airborne, isoprene promotes the production of photochemical smog and other air pollutants and contributes indirectly to global warming.  In many seed plants, the enzyme isoprene synthase catalyzes the production of isoprene from its precursor, dimethylallyl diphosphate (DMAPP).  However, the role of isoprene in plant biology remains elusive. While isoprene production by mosses is common, there are no previous reports of enzymatic production of isoprene in a moss.  We isolated and characterized a DMAPP-dependent isoprene synthase from cell-free extracts of heath star moss (Campylopus introflexus), and efforts are underway in our laboratory to clone the mRNA transcript that codes for this novel enzyme.  The discovery of the first isoprene synthase activity from a moss could shed light on the evolution, and possible biological function, of isoprene production in plants.

Doreen Simonsen and Stephanie DeGooyer
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators