Timothy Durrett, Ph.D.
Director of Graduate Studies

Image of Timothy Durrett, Ph.D.

Contact information

Office: 174 Chalmers Hall
Phone: 785-532-3139
Fax: 785-532-7278
E-mail: tdurrett@ksu.edu


A.B. 1999, Harvard University
Ph.D. 2006, University of Missouri–Columbia

Research Video

Areas of specialty

  • Biochemistry of triacylglycerol biosynthesis
  • Structure and function of membrane bound acyltransferases
  • Genetically modifying the physical properties of seed oils for industrial and biofuel applications

My laboratory uses modern biochemical and genomic approaches to better understand the synthesis of triacylglycerols in seeds. In particular, we are characterizing a novel acyltransferase named EaDAcT (Euonymus alatus diacylglycerol acetyltransferase) isolated from the Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus). EaDAcT is responsible for the synthesis of the unusual, reduced viscosity oil found in the seeds of this ornamental plant. The unusual substrate specificity of EaDAcT makes it a useful model to understand the relationship between structure and enzyme function within the larger family of membrane bound acyltransferases, many of which are involved in lipid metabolism. We are also expressing EaDAcT in oil crops in order to produce seed oil with physical and chemical properties useful for different industrial and biofuel applications.

Selected publications

Manuel Adrian Troncoso-Ponce, Aruna Kilaru, Xia Cao, Timothy P. Durrett, Jilian Fan, Jacob Jensen, Markus Pauly, Curtis Wilkerson and John Ohlrogge. (2011) Comparative deep transcriptional profiling of four developing oilseeds. The Plant Journal (in press).

Sanjaya, Timothy P. Durrett, Sean E. Weise and Christoph Benning. (2011) Increasing the energy density of vegetative tissues by diverting carbon from starch to oil biosynthesis in transgenic Arabidopsis. Plant Biotechnology Journal (in press).

Timothy P. Durrett, Daniel D. McClosky, Ajay W. Tumaney, Dezi A. Elzinga, John B. Ohlrogge and Mike Pollard. (2010) A distinct DGAT with sn-3 acetyltransferase activity that synthesizes unusual, reduced-viscosity oils in Euonymus and transgenic seeds. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA) 107:9464-9469.

Yonghua Beisson-Li, Basil Shorrosh, Mats Andersson, Vincent Arondel, Phillip Bates, Sébastien Baud, Fred Beisson, David Bird, Alan DeBono, Timothy Durrett, Rochus Franke, Ian Graham, Kenta Katayama, Amalie Kelly, Tony Larson, Jonathan Markham, Martine Miquel, Isabel Molina, Ikuo Nishida, Owen Rowland, Lacey Samuels, Kathy Schmid, Hajime Wada, Ruth Welti, Changcheng Xu, Remi Zallot and John Ohlrogge. (2010) Acyl Lipid Metabolism, in The Arabidopsis Book. (Review Article)

Philip D. Bates, Timothy P. Durrett, John B. Ohlrogge and Mike Pollard. (2009) Analysis of Acyl Fluxes through Multiple Pathways of Triacylglycerol Synthesis in Developing Soybean Embryos. Plant Physiology 150:55-72.

Complete Publications List