Sriram Edits New Book on Plant Metabolism

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Department of Chemical and Bioengineering (ChBE) assistant professor Ganesh Sriram is the editor of and a contributor to a new book on methods for the study of plant metabolism, now available from Springer’s Humana Press imprint.

Plant Metabolism: Methods and Protocols (Methods in Molecular Biology, Volume 1083), covers the latest developments in the quantitative analysis of plant metabolism. According to Springer’s description of the book, “The methods [presented] focus on measurements, analyses and simulations of molecules, fluxes, and ultimately entire metabolic pathways and networks.” Chapters include “introductions to their respective topics, lists of the necessary materials, reagents, or software, step-by-step, readily reproducible laboratory protocols, and key tips on troubleshooting and avoiding known pitfalls.” The book is geared toward professionals working on plant metabolism and systems biology in disciplines including biology, metabolic engineering, chemical engineering, and biotechnology.

In his preface to the book, Sriram stresses the importance of plant metabolism to many industries. “The plant kingdom is the primary source of several commodities indispensable to both life and economic development, including molecular oxygen, food, pharmaceuticals, fuel and chemical industry feedstocks,” he writes. “Highly sophisticated and versatile networks of metabolic reactions in plants synthesize these commodities by using just thin air (CO2), minerals and light. A sustainable future must therefore include plants and their metabolic capabilities in a prominent role.”

“The quantitative and mathematical requirements of 21st century plant metabolism research allow engineers to play a significant role,” says Sriram. “This is what motivated me to put together this volume.”

He hopes the methods presented in the book will help life scientists and engineers gain a better understanding of the metabolic features and qualities found only in plants, which makes their metabolism more difficult to investigate and characterize than those of animals and bacteria.

Sriram and members of his research group contributed two chapters to the book, describing two different methods in which the group specializes. The first,  “Mathematical Modeling of Isotope Labeling Experiments for Metabolic Flux Analysis,” was co-authored with former group member Shilpa Nargund (Ph.D. ’12). The second chapter, “Genome-Scale Models of Plant Metabolism,” was co-authored with former undergraduate researcher Margaret Simons (B.S. ’12) and former ChBE postdoctoral researcher Ashish Misra.

For More Information:

Visit Professor Sriram’s web site
Order Plant Metabolism: Methods and Protocols online

University of Maryland, College Park faculty, students and staff can download a free PDF of the book via the University Libraries' subscription.

Published January 30, 2014