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Computers aid in cracking deception in plants
Date:6/25/2009

e shape of the nose, and so on. In our case, we're trying to find a specific protein binding site among a group of proteins from the nematode that match a particular binding site in the soybean using a set of chemical features."

Once potential binding sites are identified computationally, Korkin will work with Melissa Mitchum, assistant professor of plant sciences in MU's Interdisciplinary Plant Group (IPG), to verify them experimentally.

"We expect that information resulting from the research will help scientists improve soybean cultivars for disease resistance by accelerating the pace of discovery on resistance to this pathogen," said Korkin, who also is a member of the IPG and an investigator in the Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center.

He will be applying similar computational methods in studies of Shigella flexneri, a bacterium that can cause diarrhea in humans. For this research, he will be working closely with William Picking, professor at the University of Kansas.

Additional benefits of the project will be the interdisciplinary training of MU students, which may encourage them to consider careers in either the biological or computer sciences.

"This project provides a great environment to train students to think across disciplines," Korkin said. "Students from the life sciences will be working closely with students from computer science, and vice versa, to apply their individual expertise to solve a common research problem."


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Contact: Kelsey Jackson
JacksonKN@missouri.edu
573-882-8353
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert  

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