Barbara Ann Halkier
Thorvaldsensvej 40, 1871 Frederiksberg C
Head of DynaMo Center of Excellence
My research is focused on glucosinolates as model specialized metabolites to study cellular and organismal biology.
Glucosinolates are amino acid-derived natural plant products found in the order Brassicales, which includes the economically important oilseed rape, vegetables such as broccoli and the model Arabidopsis. Glucosinolates are hydrolyzed by myrosinases to produce isothiocyanates and nitriles, which have a wide range of biological activities. For plants, glucosinolates protect against herbivore and microbial attacks, and is implicated in host-plant recognition by specialized predators. For humans, glucosinolates have received increased attention as cancer-preventive agents and potential biopesticides.
In my research group, we apply pathway and transport engineering of glucosinolates to improve human nutrition and to increase disease resistance of crops. In addition, we use the glucosinolates in Arabidopsis thaliana as a unique model system for studying cellular and organismal biology. The goal is to uncover the molecular interactions facilitating the dynamic changes in glucosinolates levels that are generated in response to developmental cues as well as abiotic and biotic stresses.
The current research focuses on:
• Bioengineering of glucosinolates in different host organisms
• Investigation of the presence of glucosinolate metabolon
• Identification of the glucosinolate transporter complement
• Regulation of glucosinolate transporters
• USER technology