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Paul Hwang

Ph.D. 1995, Kyungpook National University, South Korea
Paul Hwang
Research Assistant Professor 509-335-1090 Plant Sciences Building 353 1772 NE Stadium Way

Research Interests

Through photosynthesis, a portion of the photoassimilates is transformed into starch, serving as a transitory intermediate in source (transient sink) organs or a stable final product in sink organs. Our recent research has revealed that starch phosphorylase (Pho1), one of the crucial enzymes in starch metabolism, is also involved in regulating photosynthetic activity and plant growth. Remarkably, rice Pho1 lacking an 80-amino acid peptide significantly enhances photosynthetic activity, growth rate, and grain weight, indicating an apparent cross-talk between the enzyme and photosystem I. Our primary focus is now on uncovering the mechanism by which Pho1 governs photosynthetic activity and plant growth, utilizing computational and biochemical methods such as structural modeling, mutagenesis, kinetic analyses, and protein-protein interactions. Furthermore, we are exploring the possibility of applying multiplex genome editing technology to investigate whether this unique role of Pho1 also exists in other economically important crops. By improving essential agronomic parameters that influence the productivity (biomass) of major crops, our research aims to make a meaningful contribution to the agricultural sector.


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