Office: (269) 387-2084
Lab: (269) 387-2102
Office: 3149 Wood Hall, Mail Stop 5410
Lab: 4019 Haenicke Hall
Department of Biological Sciences
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5410 USA
Photosynthesis provides chemical energy for nearly all life forms on earth. The rising human population and increasing demand for biofuels and high protein diets generate needs for higher yield and dietary value in crop plants. To improve crop productivity and nutritional value, it is important to have a better understanding of the relationships between carbon and nitrogen assimilation and production of essential amino acids in plants. In collaboration with Dr. Rob Last at Michigan State University, Dr. Lu seeks to identify and understand novel connections between photosynthesis and amino acid metabolism.
Computational approaches (SQL, R, JMP, Cytoscape, etc) are used to integrate phenotypic data – photosynthetic parameters, amino acid and fatty acid profiles, and seed carbon to nitrogen content – from Arabidopsis thaliana mutants with defects in plastid-targeted nuclear encoded genes. Mutants with robust and interesting pleiotropic phenotypes will be selected for focused studies.
Examples of focused studies
Students in Dr. Yan Lu's laboratory