Thomas J. Baiga

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Proteins participate in various biological processes and can be harnessed to probe and control biological events selectively and reproducibly, but the genetic code limits the building block to 20 common amino acids for protein manipulation in living cells. The genetic encoding of unnatural amino acids will remove this restriction and enable new chemical and(More)
Plant growth depends on the integration of environmental cues and phytohormone-signaling pathways. During seedling emergence, elongation of the embryonic stem (hypocotyl) serves as a readout for light and hormone-dependent responses. We screened 10,000 chemicals provided exogenously to light-grown seedlings and identified 100 compounds that promote(More)
Many plants synthesize the volatile phenylpropene compounds eugenol and isoeugenol to serve in defense against herbivores and pathogens and to attract pollinators. Clarkia breweri flowers emit a mixture of eugenol and isoeugenol, while Petunia hybrida flowers emit mostly isoeugenol with small amounts of eugenol. We recently reported the identification of a(More)
Floral scent has been extensively investigated in plants of the South American genus Petunia. Flowers of Petunia integrifolia emit mostly benzaldehyde, while flowers of Petunia axillaris subsp. axillaris emit a mixture of volatile benzenoid and phenylpropanoid compounds that include isoeugenol and eugenol. Flowers of the artificial hybrid Petunia hybrida, a(More)
Caenorhabditis elegans sense natural chemicals in their environment and use them as cues to regulate their development. This investigation probes the mechanism of sensory trafficking by evaluating the processing of fluorescent derivatives of natural products in C. elegans. Fluorescent analogs of daumone, an ascaroside, and apigenin were prepared by total(More)
Phenylpropenes, a large group of plant volatile compounds that serve in multiple roles in defense and pollinator attraction, contain a propenyl side chain. Eugenol synthase (EGS) catalyzes the reductive displacement of acetate from the propenyl side chain of the substrate coniferyl acetate to produce the allyl-phenylpropene eugenol. We report here the(More)
Despite the effectiveness of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), there remains an urgent need to develop new human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) inhibitors with better pharmacokinetic properties that are well tolerated, and that block common drug resistant virus strains. Here we screened an in-house small molecule library for novel(More)
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