Postdoc opportunity-Madison, WI

Michael Sullivan via (by mlsulliv from
Wed Aug 20 09:02:53 EST 2008

My lab at the US Dairy Forage Research Center in Madison, WI has =20
recently been awarded a USDA-CSREES-NRI grant to support our research =20=

on the biochemical pathways responsible for o-diphenol biosynthesis =20
in red clover. This grant includes support for a postdoc position to =20
start in early 2009. Qualified candidates will have hands-on =20
experience in general molecular biology, including PCR, cloning, =20
sequencing, making gene constructs; biochemistry, including =20
characterization of proteins and analyses of enzymatic activities; =20
and/or plant transformation including plant tissue culture and =20
maintenance of transgenic plants. Candidates should also be able to =20
work independently and have good oral and written communication =20
they already have documentation allowing them to work in the US (I =20
CANNOT help with obtaining work visas). Non-US citizens must also =20
meet certain other eligibility requirements.

Interested individuals may contact me by e-mail =20
(michael.sullivan from The formal application process is =20
expected to begin in Dec. 2008.

The US Dairy Forage Research Center is part of the Agricultural =20
Research Service of the US Department of Agriculture and is located =20
on the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison, WI. For more =20
information on the US Dairy Forage Research Center visit our web =20

Title: Elucidating the Roles of Hydroxycinnamoyl Transferases and p-=20
Coumaroyl 3-Hydroxylases in o-Diphenol Biosynthesis in Red Clover

PD: Sullivan, Michael L.            Institution: US Dairy Forage =20
Research Center, ARS-USDA

Phenylpropanoid o-diphenols accumulate in tissues of many plants =20
functioning as defensive molecules and antioxidants. Red clover =20
accumulates high levels of two o-diphenols, phasalic acid and =20
clovamide. In red clover, post-harvest oxidation of these o-diphenols =20=

to o-quinones by an endogenous polyphenol oxidase (PPO) prevents =20
breakdown of forage protein during storage. Agronomically important =20
forages like alfalfa lack both PPO and o-diphenols. Consequently, =20
breakdown of their protein upon harvest and storage results in =20
economic losses ($100 million/yr) and release of excess nitrogen into =20=

the environment. Understanding how red clover is able to synthesize =20
and accumulate o-diphenols will help in development of forages that =20
take advantage of this natural system of protein protection. Also, =20
because o-diphenols are powerful antioxidants, this research has =20
implications for human and animal nutrition. Preliminary evidence =20
suggests that specific hydroxycinnamoyl transferases (HCTs) and p-=20
coumaroyl 3=92 hydroxylases (C3Hs) play key roles in red clover o-=20
diphenol biosynthesis and accumulation. Specific objectives of this =20
proposal are 1) Identify and isolate red clover gene sequences =20
encoding HCTs; 2) Characterize the HCTs and a C3H with respect to =20
substrate specificity and reaction characteristics; and 3) Establish =20
the relevance of specific HCTs to biosynthesis and accumulation of =20
specific o-diphenols. These objectives will be accomplished using =20
several complementary approaches including biochemistry, genomics, =20
and reverse genetics.

Michael L. Sullivan
Plant Research Molecular Geneticist
US Dairy Forage Research Center
1925 Linden Drive West
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 890-0046 (Phone)
(608) 890-0076 (FAX)

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