Henryk Straube, first author of Enhanced nucleotide analysis enables the quantification of deoxynucleotides in plants revealing connections between nucleoside and deoxynucleoside metabolism
Current Position: PhD student, Department of Molecular Nutrition and Biochemistry of Plants, Institute of Plant Nutrition, Leibniz University Hannover
Education: M.Sc. in Plant Biotechnology, Leibniz University Hannover
Non-scientific Interests: Music, reading and politics
Brief bio: In 2018 I received my master degree in plant biotechnology. My project involved the characterization of protein-protein interactions in mitochondria of Arabidopsis by complexome profiling thereby elucidating the association of RNA-editing factors to plant mitochondrial ribosomes. Subsequently I joined the laboratory of Prof. Dr. Claus-Peter Witte at the Leibniz University of Hannover in late 2018 as a PhD candidate. Here I started developing methods for metabolite extraction and sample preparation regarding deoxynucleotide/nucleoside analysis in plants with liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. We quantified deoxynucleotides in plants and were able to show a connection not only between the amounts of ‘G’ and ‘C’ dNTPs in free pools with the GC-content in DNA, but also showed that there is a complex interplay between degradation, salvage and de-novo biosynthesis of nucleotides. It was quite fascinating to me how a newly developed method can help to gain insights into almost uncharted territory. In the remaining time of my PhD I will try to further establish the sensitive analysis of metabolites to detect modified or damaged nucleotides and characterize enzymes that metabolize them.