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Joe Lynch, August 30

Please join the department of Biology in welcoming Dr. Joe Lynch, Assistant Professor of Plant and Soil Sciences at West Virginia University, for his talk. The talk will be held in Life Sciences Building, room G21 and via livestream on August 30, 2021 at 4pm EST. For information on how to access the livestream, please contact Dr. Sarah Farris at

More on the talk:

In plants, phenylalanine is a precursor not just of proteins, but also of thousands of aromatic primary and secondary metabolites with broad physiological functions. It has long been known that synthesis of phenylalanine occurs predominantly via the arogenate pathway in plastids. Here Dr Lynch will present the elucidation of an alternative “phenylpyruvate pathway” present in the cytosol. A cytosolic chorismate mutase is responsible for directing carbon flux towards cytosolic phenylalanine production to initiate this pathway. An alternative transcription start site of a known plastidial enzyme produces a functional cytosolic prephenate dehydratase that catalyzes the conversion of prephenate to phenylpyruvate, the intermediate step between chorismate mutase and a previously reported phenylpyruvate aminotransferase. Unexpectedly, the phenylpyruvate intermediate produced in this pathway can serve as a co-substrate in tryptophan-dependent auxin biosynthesis, creating a metabolic cross-talk between the two pathways with implications for metabolic engineering.