Dr Emily Flashman
My pronouns are she/her
We are interested in engineering the catalytic properties of plant enzymes as a mechanism to improve plant stress tolerance and/or productivity. Our major focus is on oxygen-sensing enzymes called Plant Cysteine Oxidases, which have a role in triggering plant adaptive responses to flood-induced hypoxia (low oxygen). We use a structural and functional understanding of these enzymes to manipulate their activity at the molecular level, then we correlate the effects of this enzyme engineering on biochemical and biological outcomes. Our aim is to reduce the activity of the Plant Cysteine Oxidases under very specific conditions, resulting in a prolonged ability of the plant to tolerate flooded conditions. A similar engineering approach can be taken to manipulate the activity of other enzymes involved in stress or growth signalling.