User:Joelle Muhlemann

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Contact Info

  • Joëlle K Muhlemann
  • Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture
  • Purdue University
  • 625 Agriculture Mall Dr.
  • West Lafayette, IN, 47907

I am a graduate student in Natalia Dudareva's laboratory.

Education

  • 2005, M.Sc., ETH Zürich, Switzerland

Research interests

  • Regulation of plant metabolism
  • Biochemistry and ecological role of plant natural products
  • Plant-pollinator interactions

Current and past research

Biosynthesis of plant natural products often occurs in specialized organs, at specific developmental stages and under certain environmental conditions. Flowers for example are a rich source of volatile compounds and pigments, the synthesis of which is highly orchestrated during flower development to reach its maximum when the flower is ready for pollination. My PhD project focuses on metabolic changes occurring within snapdragons flowers over different developmental stages – from the bud to pre-senescence. Cluster analysis of transcriptome and metabolome data revealed that each developmental stage has a specific metabolite abundance and gene expression profile. Adjacent developmental stages are more similar to each other than distant stages. Interestingly, genes that display the same developmental pattern as scent producing genes belong to many different branches of the entire metabolic network. This implies that large and distant portions of the entire metabolic network are developmentally co-expressed. Metabolic flux analysis will reveal if carbon allocation is substantially re-arranged over the development of the flowers.

During my diploma work in Florian Schiestl's group, I analyzed the role of floral odor in the maintenance of reproductive barriers between closely related plant species.

Awards and Fellowships

  • 2010, Travel award, Purdue Graduate Student Government
  • 2006, Fellowship, Purdue Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Program

Publications

  • Waelti MO, Muhlemann JK, Widmer A, Schiestl FP. (2008) Floral odour and reproductive isolation in two species of Silene. J Evol Biol. 21(1):111-21 [1] PMID: 18031491
  • Muhlemann JK, Waelti MO, Widmer A, Schiestl FP. (2006) Postpollination changes in floral odor in Silene latifolia: adaptive mechanisms for seed-predator avoidance?. J Chem Ecol. 32(8):1855-60 [2] PMID: 16807795