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Christopher Roach
MSc Program
Previous Degree: B.Sc. Cellular Biology and Genetics

2010 Cohort

Sitka spruce biosynthesis variation of (+)-3-carene, a monoterpene associated with defense against the White Pine Weevil, is due to variations of gene copy number, transcript and protein levels, and catalytic efficiency in a small family of (+)-3-carene synthases-like genes. This family includes the three (+)-3-carene synthases PsTPS-3car1, PsTPS-3car2, PsTPS-3car3, as well as the sabinene synthase PsTPS-sab with PsTPS-3car2 being responsible for weevil-resistant Sitka spruce clones. Due to their high sequence similarity yet different product profiles, I am able to use comparisons of PsTPS-sab and PsTPS-3car2 to guide site-directed mutagenesis and domain swapping to explore the amino acids responsible for the specific product profiles and kinetic parameters.

Supervisor: Joerg Bohlmann