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Novel proteins that orchestrate starch granule formation in plants

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Starch plays a vital role in our lives as the major calorific component of our staple foods. It is also an important ingredient in manufacturing many everyday items such as paper, pharmaceuticals and textiles. Despite its importance, we still do not have a full understanding of how starch is produced in plants. Major questions include how the two polymers within the starch granule, amylose and amylopectin, are assembled to form a semi-crystalline starch granule. Also, how is the synthesis of each starch granule initiated, and which factors determine the number of starch granules that are formed within each plastid? Recently, we have discovered novel non-catalytic proteins that shed light on some of these poorly understood processes. These discoveries and their implications for improving starch quality in crops will be discussed.

This talk is part of the Materials Chemistry Research Interest Group series.

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