Research

Our research is currently supported by the NIH (1R15GM114706) and the NIU Research & Artistry Award



1. Bioinformatics tool development:

We develop new bioinformatics tools for studying orphan genes in plant, microbial and meta-genomes to understand their evolution.

We developed and maintain the web resource dbCAN, dedicated to functional domain-based CAZyme annotation for newly sequenced genomes/metagenomes.

We developed and maintain the PlantCAZyme database to provide pre-computed CAZyme sequence and annotation data for all sequenced plant and algal genomes

We developed ORFanFinder, a software and web server to identify taxonomically restricted orphan genes and classify genes of a genome into different age groups

2. Evolution of plant cell walls:

We study the phylogeny of cell wall-related genes (encoding enzymes, transcription factors, transporters, ncRNAs etc.) involved in plant cell wall synthesis and degradation to understand how plant cell walls have evolved.

Carbohydrate active enzymes (CAZymes): these enzymes are responsible for the synthesis, degradation, modification and recognition of all carbohydrates on Earth.

We identify important industrial interested enzymes, e.g. CAZymes by bioinformatics mining of genomic and metagenomic data