Recognizing Plant Physiology first authors: Li Yu

Li Yu, first author of The patterned structure of galactoglucomannan suggests it may bind to cellulose in seed mucilage

Current Position: Research Associate at Department of Biochemistry and The Leverhulme Trust Centre for Natural Material Innovation, University of Cambridge, UK

Education: Ph.D. in Plant Biochemistry, Northeast Normal University, China; Visiting student during Ph.D. in Centre for Plant Sciences, University of Leeds, UK

Non-scientific Interests: Travelling, cooking, reading, fitness, pottery

Brief Bio: During my Ph.D. studies at Northeast Normal University, China, my research focused on the bioactivity of pectin extracted from ginseng roots. This included extensive structural and functional analysis of these interesting polysaccharides. During my studies, I obtained a scholarship to visit Paul Knox’s lab in Leeds, where we used cell wall antibodies to analyse these carbohydrates further.

Later, I worked for the Chinese Academy of Science’s Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology, where I screened and identified several Arabidopsis mutants with altered seed mucilage using both genetic and biochemical approaches. Of these mutants, I demonstrated the involvement of mannan synthases in maintaining mucilage architecture.

In 2015, I joined the Dupree Group at the University of Cambridge, UK. My research here focuses on the structure, pattern and function of galactoglucomannan in Arabidopsis and gymnosperms. Specifically, I am investigating the interactions between galactoglucomannan and other cell wall components.