Plants metabolize nutrients in order to grow and produce seeds. Of these nutrients, nitrogen and sulfur are among the most important. Sulfur is used not only for the production of primary metabolites like cysteine and glutathione, but also secondary metabolites such as glucosinolates that aid in plant defense. Nitrogen is an essential macronutrient used for biosynthesis of amino acids and nucleic acids required for plant growth and development. Plants alter root architecture and express transporters in roots in order to acquire sulfur and nitrogen sources efficiently from the environment.
The Takahashi Lab of Michigan State University focuses on elucidating the molecular mechanisms of plant sulfur and nitrogen metabolism. Dr. Hideki Takahashi is an associate professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and is seeking motivated undergraduates, graduate students, and post-docs to work in his lab.