报告人：Prof. Brian A. Larkins , University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Dr. Brian Larkins’s research program focused on the regulation of seed development and the synthesis of seed storage proteins. Storage proteins are the most abundant proteins in seeds, and as such they are the principal determinants of the protein quality of grains. Storage proteins are generally deficient in several amino acids that are required in human and livestock diets. Consequently, increasing the levels of these essential amino acids has long been a goal of plant breeders and cereal chemists. A major focus of his research was Quality Protein Maize, or QPM. The opaque2 mutation increases the content of essential amino acids in the maize kernel, but it also causes a soft starchy endosperm that creates inferior grain quality. Genetic suppressors of opaque2 (o2 modifiers) were identified that ameliorate the negative phenotypic features of the o2 mutation, but the genes responsible for modification were not well characterized. His lab studied how the o2 mutation increases the lysine content of the grain and how o2 modifiers restore the normal hard, vitreous kernel phenotype. His lab also investigated cell cycle regulation and the role it plays in maize seed development, particularly endoreduplication in the endosperm.Brian got his B.S. at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1969, and his Ph.D. in Botany at the same university in 1974. Following one-year postdoc research at Purdue University, he became Assistant Professor of Biochemical Genetics there, in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology. He was promoted to professor in 1984. In 1988 Brian left Purdue and went to the University of Arizona, where he served as head of the Department of Plant Sciences from 1988 to 1994. In 1995, he became the first holder of the Porterfield Chair, an endowed position in that department.Brian served as an Associate Editor of Plant Physiology at the time when The Plant Cell was just establi.