Jeffrey F.D. DeanAssociate Professor of Forest Biotechnology and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Professor Dean received B.S. degrees in Chemistry and Biology fromStanford University in 1980, and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Purdue University in 1986. He was a Kinney Postdoctoral Fellow at the USDA Plant Hormone Laboratory in Beltsville, MD before coming to UGA in 1990 as an Associate Research Scientist in the Department of Biochemistry. He joined the faculty of the UGA School of Forest Resources in 1996.
Multicopper oxidases are used by all manner of organisms to carry out diverse physiological functions, from regulating the metabolism of iron and other metals to detoxifying metabolic inhibitors produced by antagonistic organisms to synthesizing antibiotic precursors. A major line of inquiry in this laboratory has focused on the physiological functions of one class of MCOs, the laccases, in plants, fungi and bacteria. Phylogenetic analyses of the laccase gene family in Arabidopis indicate that there are at least four distinct laccase genes families in vascular plants, and gene expression data demonstrating expression of different family members in different tissues and at different stages of development strongly support varying functions for these enzymes. We have also recently been taking a functional genomics approach to examine how a multitude of genes encoding plant metalloenzymes respond to xenobiotics, such as trinitrotoluene. The results from this work should enable us to identify metabolic pathways that need to be enhanced in order to facilitate plant survival in the presence of these environmental contaminants.
"Characterization and heterologous expression of laccase cDNAs from the lignifying xylem of yellow-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera)," LaFayette, P.; Merkle, S.A.; Eriksson, K-E.L.; and Dean, J. F. D. Plant Mol. Biol.. 1999, 40, 23-35.
"Oxidation of phenolate siderophores by the multicopper oxidase encoded by the Escherichia coli yacK gene," Kim, C.H.; Lorenz, W.W.; Hoopes, J.T; and Dean, J.F.D. J. Bacteriol.. 2001, 183, 4866-4875.
"SAGE profiling and demonstration of differential gene expression along the axial developmental gradient of lignifying xylem in loblolly pine (Pinus taeda)." Lorenz, W.W; and Dean, J.F.D. Tree Physiol. 2002, 22, 301-310.