Dr. Paul W. Pare
Principal Research Interests
- Plant Beneficial-Microbe Interactions
- Plant Metabolomics
- Marine Natural-Product Chemistry
Research activities focus on: [i] characterizing signaling mechanisms that operate in plant-microbe interactions and [ii] chemically characterize natural products from plant and marine sources with biological activity within a medical context. The lab fosters the training of undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral researchers. Experimental approaches include techniques in analytical and organic chemistry as well as molecular and microbiology. Research projects that are ongoing are summarized below.
Beneficial Bacterial Induce Plant Growth
Researchers, in collaboration with Lanzhou University in China study how beneficial soil bacteria induce growth promotion, nutrient uptake and abiotic stress tolerance in plants. Such bacteria form mutually beneficial associations with below-ground roots through a complex exchange of signaling molecules, some of which have been chemically characterized and assayed for biological activity. It has been established that bacterial elicitors activate differential expression of over 600 plant transcripts related to inducible salt- and drought-tolerance as well as iron uptake resulting in greater photosynthetic efficiency. Understanding how bacteria regulate plant processes of growth and development has important implications in increasing agricultural output and improved human nutrition.
Researchers, in collaboration with the National Research Centre in Egypt collect and chemically characterize pharmacologically active metabolites including phenylpropanoid glycosides, iridoids, flavonoids, saponins and terpenes from solvent-extracted plant tissue. Samples are selected based on a plant's ethnobotanical history and/or its phylogenetic proximity to species rich in biologically-active phytochemicals. Metabolites are chromatographically purified, spectroscopically characterized and screened for biological activity based on bacterial and cancer cytotoxicity assays.
Marine Natural Product Chemistry
Marine ecosystems cover nearly seventy percent of the earth's surface and are estimated to contain over eighty percent of world's plant and animal species. Researchers, in collaboration with the National Research Centre in Egypt collect and chemically characterize secondary metabolites produced by marine organisms within the Red Sea; this aquatic environment is considered an epicenter for marine biodiversity due to its extremely high endemic biota. Since constituents from higher plants, along with metabolites from terrestrial microorganisms have provided a substantial fraction of the natural-product-derived drugs currently used in Western medicine, it is expected that the number and diversity of natural products will be vastly expand by the mining of marine organisms.
- Cytotoxic saponin poliusaposide from Teucrium polium.Elmasri WA, Hegazy MEF, Mechref Y, Paré PW; RSC Advances 2015, 5: 27126-27133.
- Beneficial soil bacterium Bacillus subtilis (GB03) augments salt tolerance of white clover. Han QQ, Lu XP, Bai JP, Qiao Y, Paré PW, Wang SM, Zhang JL, Wu YN, Pang XP, Xu WB, Wang ZL; Frontiers in Plant Sci. 2014, 5: 525-529.
- New cytotoxic halogenated sesquiterpenes from the Egyptian sea hare, Aplysia oculifera. Hegazy MEF, Moustfa AY, Mohamed AEH, Alhammady MA, Elbehairi SE, Ohta S, Paré PW; Tetrahedron Letter 2014, 55: 1711-1714.
- Bioactive hydroperoxyl cembranoids from the Red Sea soft coral Sarcophyton glaucum.Hegazy MEF, Gamal Eldeen AM, Shahat AA, Abdel-Latif FF, Mohamed TA, Whittlesey BR, Paré PW; Marine Drugs 2012, 10: 209-222.
- Estrogenic activity of chemical constituents from Tephrosia candida.Hegazy MEF, Mohamed AHH, Halawany AM, Djemgou, PC, Shahat AA, Paré PW; Journal Natural Products 2011, 74: 937-942.
- Choline and osmotic-stress tolerance induced in Arabidopsis by the soil microbe Bacillus subtilis (GB03). Zhang H, Murzello C, Sun Y, Kim MS, Xie X, Jeter RM, Zak JC, Dowd SE, Paré PW; Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 2010, 23: 1097–1104.