Dr. Thannhauser’s research interests include physical and analytical protein chemistry and proteomics. The Functional and Comparative Proteomics Center was set up to provide proteomics support for ARS sponsored research projects on a collaborative basis. There are three such collaborative projects under investigation: The first of these involves the identification and characterization of proteins whose expression is effected by the Ormutation in cauliflower (Brassica oleraceavar. botrytis). This comparative proteomic study is being undertaken with a view towards gaining an understanding, at the molecular level, of the processes responsible for the accumulation of high concentrations of β-carotene in plant tissues. The second active research project involves the profiling of protein expression in maize root tips as a function of Al tolerance/sensitivity and exposure. The goal here is to identify proteins that exhibit a higher level of expression in the presence of Al in tolerant versussensitive NILs for specific QTLs. The third active collaborative project involves development, evaluation, and application of comparative proteomic approaches to the identification of proteins associated with ontogenic resistance to Uncinula necato.
In addition to these collaborative projects the FCPC is involved in the development of new technologies to facilitate the conduct of proteomic research. These involve the development of high throughput techniques, a Proteomic-based Laboratory Information Management System, chemical modification strategies to assist in peptide/protein identification and methodologies by which one can apply proteomic approaches to species with unsequenced genomes.