The overall goal of my research is to understand how nitrogen (N), quantitatively the most important nutrient in crops, is managed in plants. Specifically, my research aims at how amino acids, one of the main forms of organic N in plant body, is transported. In order to study such mechanisms in detail, we have developed protein-based, fluorescent sensors that allow us to track amino acids in live cells. We utilize these sensors to discover novel molecular mechanisms that are involved in the regulation of amino acids. We are currently interrogating the processes in which amino acid exporters are involved in, using various genetic resources such as T-DNA insertion mutants and gene editing tools. We are also interested in developing novel sensors for other biologically important molecules.
- Besnard, J., Zhao, C., Avice, J. C., Vitha, S., Hyodo, A., Pilot, G., & Okumoto, S. (2018). Arabidopsis UMAMIT24 and 25 are amino acid exporters involved in seed loading. JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL BOTANY. 69(21), 5221-5232.
- Denbow, C. J., Lapins, S., Dietz, N., Scherer, R., Nimchuk, Z. L., & Okumoto, S. (2017). Gateway-compatible CRISPR-Cas9 vectors and a rapid detection by high-resolution melting curve analysis. Frontiers in Plant Science. 8, 1171.
- Okumoto, S., & Versaw, W. (2017). Genetically encoded sensors for monitoring the transport and concentration of nitrogen-containing and phosphorus-containing molecules in plants. Curr Opin Plant Biol. 39, 129-135.
- Okumoto, S., Funck, D., Trovato, M., & Forlani, G. (2016). Editorial: Amino acids of the glutamate family: Functions beyond primary metabolism. Frontiers in Plant Science. 7(MAR2016), 318.
- Besnard, J., Pratelli, R., Zhao, C., Sonawala, U., Collakova, E., Pilot, G., & Okumoto, S. (2016). UMAMIT14 is an amino acid exporter involved in phloem unloading in Arabidopsis roots. JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL BOTANY. 67(22), 6385-6397.
- Hormann, F., Chauduri, B., Deuschle, K., Lager, I., Okumoto, S., Lalonde, S., & Frommer, W. (2007). Carb fluxomics in plants. PHOTOSYNTHESIS RESEARCH. 91(2-3), 258-258.
- Dulla, C., Nguyen-Vu, B., Tani, H., Okumoto, S., Frommer, W., Reimer, R., & Huguenard, J. (2007). Real-time imaging of glutamate dynamics in the thalamic reticular nucleus during intrathalamic epileptiform oscillations. Epilepsia. 48, 262-263.