James N. Siedow
Professor Emeritus of Biology

Physiological, biochemical and molecular studies of plant oxidative processes.

I suspended the operation of my laboratory about eight years ago.

Historically, the research in my laboratory looked at metabolic processes related to aerobic respiration in plants and fungi. Specifically, this research involves isolating and characterizing the structural and regulatory features of the cyanide-resistant "alternative" oxidase associated with all plant and many fungal mitochondria. The mechanism of action of a regulatory sulfhydryl-disulfide system on the alternative oxidase and its interplay with the activating effects of alpha-keto acids are currently under study, as is the characterization of structural features of the alternative protein and its active site.

Comparative studies of the plant and fungal alternative oxidases have indicated a common structural framework but distinctly different regulatory features. This research involves the application of standard biochemical approaches, including chemical cross-linking, immunochemical technologies, and electrochemical methodologies. These approaches are further complemented by the use of site-directed mutagenesis of the alternative oxidase expressed in both the bacterium E. coli and transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana .

Transformed Arabidopsis having over- and underexpressed wild-type, as well as altered forms of the alternative oxidase lacking normal regulatory control have been developed and are being used to characterize the role played by the alternative oxidase in response to different developmental and environmental circumstances, including extremes of temperature, pathogen infection, and nutrient limitations.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Contact Information

  • 130 Science Drive, 3105 French Science Centre, Durham, NC 27708
  • Duke Box 90338, Department of Biology, Durham, NC 27708

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