Tomomi Takeuchi, first author of Chlamydomonas CHT7 is required for an effective quiescent state by regulating nutrient-responsive cell cycle gene expression
Current Position: Post-doctoral researcher at Michigan State University
Education: BSc in Human Biology; BSc and PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Michigan State University
Non-scientific Interests: Yoga, outdoors, books, crafts, and calligraphy
Brief bio: I am a recent PhD graduate from Michigan State University, and the research presented in this paper was a part of my thesis work in the lab of Dr. Christoph Benning. Although the human immune system has also been a long-standing interest of mine, I was always drawn to the remarkable and unique biology of photosynthetic organisms. Thus, for my PhD, I aimed to better understand how the nutrient status of the cells is coordinated with the cell division cycle, using Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, as a model. Here, we show that the Compromised Hydrolysis of Triacylglycerols 7 (CHT7) protein is necessary for the effective quiescence of this alga during N deprivation by regulating cell cycle gene expression. Interestingly, in contrast to the CXC domain proteins of animals, we find that the CXC domain of CHT7 is dispensable for its function, and that its predicted protein-interaction domain is essential instead. The potential implications of this finding to orthologous proteins of plants are discussed in the paper.