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Dr. Basil J. Nikolau

Basil Nikolau

  • Frances M. Craig Professor
  • Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Molecular Biology
Research Interests
Research in the Nikolau Lab is focused on the comprehensive understanding of metabolism. The lab is particularly focused on the discovery and characterization of novel metabolic processes, and the associated biocatalysts, utilizing expanding genomics resources as the starting point for these endeavors. 

The past decade has seen an explosion of genomics datasets, which have revolutionized the way biological systems are defined. Yet the majority of the gene sequences that are deposited at databases are ambiguously annotated relative to biochemical functionality.  These gaps in knowledge therefore offer opportunities for novel discoveries that can be used to generate innovative metabolic solutions to societally defined issues. 

These research activities are providing opportunities for research-based education and training of undergraduate and graduate students, and post-doctoral researchers.

Selected Publications

1.  Sumner LW, Lei Z, Nikolau BJ, Saito K. 2014. Modern plant metabolomics: advanced natural product gene discoveries, improved technologies, and future prospects. Natural Product Reports. Advance Article, published online 24 Oct 2014; DOI:10.1039/C4NP00072B

2.  Korte AR, Yandeau-Nelson MD, Nikolau BJ, Lee YJ. 2015. Subcellular-level resolution MALDI-MS imaging of maize leaf metabolites my MALDI-linear ion trap-Orbitrap mass spectrometer. Anal Bioanal Chem, epub ahead of print. doi: 10.1007/s00216-015-8460-5. PMID: 25618761.

3.  Kim T, Dreher K, Nilo-Poyanco R, Lee I, Fiehn O, Lange BM, Nikolau BJ, Sumner L, Welti R, Wurtele ES, Rhee SY. 2015. Patterns of metabolite changes identified from large-scale perturbations in Arabdopsis using a genome-scale metabolic network. Plant Physiol 167:1685-1698. doi: 10.1104/pp.114.252361. PMID 25670818.

4.  Li L, Hur M, Lee JY, Zhou W, Song Z, Ransom N, Demirkale CY, Nettleton D, Westgate M, Arendsee Z, Iyer V, Shanks J, Nikolau B, Wurtele ES. 2015. A systems biology approach toward understanding seed composition in soybean. BMC Genomics, Suppl 3:S9. doi: 10.1186/1471-2164-16-S3-S9. PMID:25708381.

5.  Noutsos C, Perera AM, Nikolau BJ, Seaver SM, Ware DH. 2015. Metabolomic profiling of the nectars of Aquilegia pubescens and A. canadensis. PLoS One, 10:e0124501. doi:10.137/journal.pone.0124501. PMID: 25933103.

6.  Guan X, Chen H, Abramson A, Man H, Wu J, Yu O, Nikolau BJ. 2015. A phosphopantetheinyl transferase that is essential for mitochondrial fatty acid biosynthesis. Plant J. Sep 24. doi. 10.1111/tpj.13034.

7.  Guan X, Nikolau BJ. 2016. AAE13 encodes a dual-localized malonyl-CoA synthetase that is crucial for mitochondrial fatty acid biosynthesis. Plant J. Feb 2. doi 10.1111/tpj.13130.  Featured on cover of the March, 2016 issue of journal.

Contact Info

3254 Molecular Biology Building