Recognizing Plant Physiology authors: Kiran-Kumar Shivaiah

Kiran-Kumar Shivaiah, co-first author of Non-catalytic subunits facilitate quaternary organization of plastidic acetyl-CoA carboxylase

Current Position: Research Associate, Plant Resilience Institute, Michigan State University

Education: Ph.D. in Biochemistry (Iowa State University), M.Sc in Biochemistry (Bangalore University)

Non-scientific interests: Health and fitness, music, art, volunteer work

Brief bio: In India, approximately 60% population is dependent on agriculture and agriculture contributes ~17% to the $2.94 trillion (2019) GDP.  By utilizing my inclination towards biochemistry, I have always wanted to contribute towards the field of global agriculture. During my Ph.D. at Iowa State University, I worked on deciphering structural and functional relationships among the subunits of the plant heteromeric form of acetyl-CoA carboxylase (htACCase), which is an important regulator in the process of de novo biosynthesis of fatty acids (FAs). For example, by manipulating htACCase activity one can envision that the lipid content of biological systems can be enhanced, and thus contribute to securing the fat and oil demands of a growing global population. During my PhD dissertation research, we biochemically and genetically explored the function of the BADC proteins, which facilitate the assembly of the htACCase complex, and thus acting as positive regulators of htACCase activity. Currently I am working as a Research Associate at Michigan State University, and my current research focuses on the -omics of plastid lipid droplets. This research could provide insights on how to make food crops more resistant to the changing environmental stresses due to global climate change.