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Ruthie Angelovici

Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
PhD, 2009 Weizmann Institute of Science

Office: 371D Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center
Phone: 573-882-3440
Additional: Website, Google-Scholar
Headshot of Ruthie Angelovici


Research summary

The genetic and metabolic control of seed amino acids’ composition

Research description

Staple crop seeds, which are a major source of amino acids (AA) for both food and feed, are deficient in several essential amino acids. Attempts to use classical breeding or transgenic approaches to increase their levels often result in poor seed quality and germination vigor. This might be due to the fact that, despite having well characterized biochemical pathways, little is known about the AA network developmental constraints, interactions, response to environmental change, and the overall contribution to plant fitness and adaptation.

My primary research aims are to uncover the metabolic and genetic mechanisms driving the AA network’s response to multiple cellular demands and to environmental changes as well as to understand the evolutionary forces and developmental constraints that shaped them. To this end, my lab is focused on dissection of the genetic architecture that underlies the natural variation of seed AA related traits across multiple species under various environmental conditions and to evaluate their evolutionary context.

To achieve these goals, we employ GWAS and classical linkage mapping combined with molecular and genetic approaches, functional genomics, and bioinformatics. My lab’s long-term goals are to be able to model the genetic and metabolic response of the AA network to different abiotic stresses.

This information will provide the basis for genetic improvement through both transgenic approaches and classical breeding programs to ensure sustainable high quality seed.

Select Publications

Select Publications

Smith, S.D., Angelovici, R., Heyduk, K., Maeda, H.A., Moghe, G.D., Pires, J.C., Widhalm, J.R., Wisecaver, J.H. The renaissance of comparative biochemistry (2019) American Journal of Botany, 106 (1), pp. 3-13. DOI: 10.1002/ajb2.1216

Yobi, A., Batushansky, A., Oliver, M.J., Angelovici, R. Adaptive responses of amino acid metabolism to the combination of desiccation and low nitrogen availability in Sporobolus stapfianus (2019) Planta, 249 (5), pp. 1535-1549. DOI: 10.1007/s00425-019-03105-6

Li, M., An, H., Angelovici, R., Bagaza, C., Batushansky, A., Clark, L., Coneva, V., Donoghue, M.J., Edwards, E., Fajardo, D., Fang, H., Frank, M.H., Gallaher, T., Gebken, S., Hill, T., Jansky, S., Kaur, B., Klahs, P.C., Klein, L.L., Kuraparthy, V., Londo, J., Migicovsky, Z., Miller, A., Mohn, R., Myles, S., Otoni, W.C., Pires, J.C., Rieffer, E., Schmerler, S., Spriggs, E., Topp, C.N., Van Deynze, A., Zhang, K., Zhu, L., Zink, B.M., Chitwood, D.H. Topological data analysis as a morphometric method: Using persistent homology to demarcate a leaf morphospace (2018) Frontiers in Plant Science, 9, art. no. 553, DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2018.00553

Ren, Y., Yobi, A., Marshall, L., Angelovici, R., Rodriguez, O., Holding, D.R. Generation and evaluation of modified opaque-2 popcorn suggests a route to quality protein popcorn (2018) Frontiers in Plant Science, 871, art. no. 1803, . DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2018.01803

Li, A., Jia, S., Yobi, A., Ge, Z., Sato, S.J., Zhang, C., Angelovici, R., Clemente, T.E., Holding, D.R. Editing of an alpha-kafirin gene family increases digestibility and protein quality in sorghum (2018) Plant Physiology, 177 (4), pp. 1425-1438. DOI: 10.1104/pp.18.00200

Yobi, A., Angelovici, R.A High-Throughput Absolute-Level Quantification of Protein-Bound Amino Acids in Seeds (2018) Current protocols in plant biology, 3 (4), p. e20084. DOI: 10.1002/cppb.20084

Angelovici, R., Batushansky, A., Deason, N., Gonzalez-Jorge, S., Gore, M.A., Fait, A., Dellapenna, D. Network-guided GWAS improves identification of genes affecting free amino acids (2017) Plant Physiology, 173 (1), pp. 872-886.

Gao K, Warmund M, White T, Angelovici R, *Filiz B. Mobile Image Analysis for Microscopic Images of Seeds. Microscopy and Microanalysis 2017. 23(1) 1326-1327.

Gonzalez-Jorge, S., Mehrshahi, P., Magallanes-Lundback, M., Lipka, A.E., Angelovici, R., Gore, M.A., DellaPenna, D. ZEAXANTHIN EPOXIDASE activity potentiates carotenoid degradation in maturing seed (2016) Plant Physiology, 171 (3), pp. 1837-1851.

Galili G, Avin-Wittenberg T, Angelovici R, Fernie AR. The role of photosynthesis and amino acid metabolism in the energy status during seed development. Frontier In Plant Science. 2014, 5(447).

Angelovici R, Lipka A.E, Deason N, Gonzales–Jorge S, Lin H, Cepela J, Buell R, Gore M and DellaPenna D. Genome-wide analysis of branched-chain amino acid levels in Arabidopsis seed. Plant Cell. 2013, 25(12):4827-43.

Gonzalez-Jorge S, Ha SH, Magallanes-Lundback M, Gilliland LU, Zhou A, Lipka AE, Nguyen YN, Angelovici R, Lin H, Cepela J, Little H, Buell CR, Gore MA, Dellapenna D. Carotenoid cleavage dioxygenase4 is a negative regulator of β-carotene content in Arabidopsis seeds. Plant Cell. 2013, 25(12):4812-26.

Angelovici R, Fait A, Fernie AR, Galili G. A seed high-lysine trait is negatively associated with the TCA cycle and slows down Arabidopsis seed germination. New Phytol. 2011, 189(1): 148–159.

Less H*, Angelovici R*, Tzin V*, Galili G. Coordinated gene networks regulating Arabidopsis plant metabolism in response to various stresses and nutritional cues. Plant Cell. 2011, 23(4):1264-71.

Angelovici R, Galili G, Fernie A, and Fait A. Seed desiccation: a bridge between maturation and germination. Trends In Plant Sci. 2010, 15(4):211-8 (Review).

Angelovici R*, Fait A*, Zhu X, Szymanski J, Feldmesser J, Fernie AR, and Galili G. Deciphering transcriptional and metabolic networks associated with lysine metabolism during Arabidopsis seed development. Plant Physiol. 2009, 151(4):2058-2072.

Fait A*, Angelovici R*, Less H, Ohad I, Urbanczyk-Wochniak E, Fernie AR, Galili G. Arabidopsis seed development and germination is associated with temporally distinct metabolic switches. Plant Physiol. 2006 Nov; 142(3):839-54.

Honors & Awards

Selected honors and awards

Mr. & Mrs. Shouson & Yunying-Kou Jen Junior Faculty Research Award in Biology 2020

Postdoctoral Independent Career Potential Award 2015

Chair of the Plant Metabolic Engineering Gordon Research Seminar 2013

BARD Postdoctoral Fellowship (2010-2012) 2010