My major areas of research deal with the biochemistry of carbohydrates, specifically in plant cell walls. In cell walls, cellulose fibers are "cemented" in place by pectins--much as the chemistry building is composed of rebar and cement. Currently, we are working with Anu Singh-Cundy in biology to determine what changes take place in the pectin component of cells walls during pollen tube growth prior to fertilization. We believe that changes in pectins allow for easier pollen tube growth through the pistil of the flower. We are trying to determine what actual chemical changes occur during this process and what enzymes are responsible for the pectin remodeling.