Carotenoids are important isoprenoids produced in the plastids of photosynthetic organisms that play key roles in photosynthesis, photoprotection, pollination, and antioxidative processes. In addition, they are precursors of plant hormones and apocarotenoids. Apocarotenoids are small molecules with regulatory functions, including cellular signaling, growth regulation, and communication with surrounding organisms. Due to these functions, apocarotenoids can influence plant physiology, development, and plant-plant/plant-microorganism’s interactions, making them a major focus of study in agriculture and fundamental research. I am moving towards the discovery of receptors and protein partners of growth-promoting apocarotenoids. In addition, I am also interested in the study and the use of carotenoid genetic engineering (GMO and non-GMO strategies) to manipulate the plant hormonal network in order to control plant growth and development.
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Prof. Salim Al-Babili's Group
CDA - Center for Desert Agriculture
BESE - Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering Division