LIPIDQUEST is based on new cutting edge developments in the area of proteomics and mass spectrometry and focuses on identifying new key players in lipid biology in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Short term output will advance our understanding of lipid biosynthesis and turnover and has the potential to contribute to medical applications; ultimately, such research will increase the world’s chances to become less dependent on fossil fuels and thus fight the threatening energy crisis as well as climate change. 3 different approaches have been chosen to deliver new gene candidates combining uniquely Dr. Kelly`s skills in the area of storage and membrane lipids in higher plants, Associate Prof Wenk’s multidisciplinary approaches using lipidomics as well as Prof Feussner’s proficiency in lipidomics and plant lipid biochemistry: 1- A novel screen based on protein-lipid interactions is targeted at capturing lipases and other lipid-binding proteins by a combination of proteomics and subsequent mass spectrometry. 2- Alternatively, a suppressor screen of a mutant impaired in ß-oxidation will identify key components between membrane lipid degradation and ß-oxidation. 3- In a forward genetic approach state-of the art lipidomics will be performed on a selected subset of Arabidopsis mutants and on the large genetic pool of intercrossed Arabidopsis accessions which will be exploited to reveal the genetic grounds for functional differences in the lipidome in response to a changing environment. This project will add to the European expertise within state-of the art lipidomics and applied plant biology and will establish the grounds for long lasting collaborations between the University of Göttingen and the National University of Singapore. In addition, it will allow Dr. Kelly to substantially deepen her technical skills necessary for a successful completion of this project and will provide her with the scientific grounds to continue with her very own line of research.
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