Welcome to the website of the Designer Glycans independent research group at the Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry in Halle (Germany).
In the coming months, our team will transition to the University of Florida, where Cătălin Voiniciuc will be an Associate Professor in Synthetic Biology.
We are proud to highlight some of the some of our students’ accomplishments this summer. • At the start of July, Annika Grieß-Osowski and Madalen Robert received awards for theirContinue reading “Designer Glycans students shine as summer ends”
The Designer Glycans lab is represented by four members (Catalin, Annika, Bo, and Madalen) at the 7th International Conference on Plant Cell Wall Biology (PCWB2021). Originally scheduled to take placeContinue reading “Designer Glycans, live at PCWB2021”
We are happy to announce the publication of our work on modular hemicellulose production in Biotechnology for Biofuels, a leading (open-access!) journal for advancing the biological production of fuels, chemicals,Continue reading “Building modular hemicellulose synthases, now out in Biotechnology for Biofuels”
Two exciting career opportunities are available in the Designer Glycans group starting February 2022. The PhD and postdoctoral positions are fully funded and offer outstanding benefits. Our ambitious independent juniorContinue reading “Funding for PhD and Postdoc Available”
Glycans densely cover the surface of all life forms. Although carbohydrates are essential for our health, energy and materials needs, these complex molecules have received relatively little attention compared to nucleic acids and proteins. Most of the organic biomass on Earth is stored in polysaccharide-rich walls, which enable plants to thrive in a remarkable range of environments. The Designer Glycans group seeks mechanistic insight into plant glycan function, synthesis, and modification. Advances in these areas will enhance our fundamental knowledge of plant biochemistry and pave the way for the assembly of sugar units into tailor-made polysaccharides with desirable agricultural or industrial properties.
The Designer Glycans lab uses several approaches (natural variation, reverse genetics and synthetic biology) to discover enzymes and chemical mediators that establish and modulate cellulose-hemicellulose networks in plants. We primarily focus on heteromannan, an ancient class of hemicellulose that is found throughout the plant kingdom. Polymers built of β-1,4-linked mannose units are particularly abundant in algae, legumes, and conifers. From ice cream to cosmetics, many products contain legume-extracted galactomannans as stabilizers.