Andrew Kunik

Student NameAndrew Kunik
Faculty Mentor NameJeongim, Kim, PhD
CollegeCollege of Agricultural and Life Sciences
MajorNatural Sciences
MinorInnovation
Research InterestsSecondary metabolites, medicinal chemistry, plant taxonomy
Academic AwardsUniversity Scholars Program 2020
OrganizationsAmerican Chemical Society, The Society for Economic Botany
Hobbies and InterestsIdentifying plants and fungi, reading articles concerning pharmacognosy

Research Project

An Analysis Of Phytochemical Diversity In Scutellaria Plants Under Various Stress Conditions?

This study aims to understand the evolution of chemodiversity in the Scutellaria genus and to identify the enzymes responsible for the biosynthesis of oroxylin-A and oroxyloside. This will be done by comparing the growth of S. racemosa, S. barbata, and S. altissima in a greenhouse to their growth in a growth chamber with and without treatment by the stress hormone Jasmonic acid. Targeted metabolite analysis will be done using samples from dry and fresh plant material using High Performance Liquid Chromatography(HPLC) to quantify 15 flavones, including oroxylin-A and oroxyloside. The relationship between the concentration of flavones in the stressed vs unstressed specimens, along with the transcriptome profiles of each of the three species will be able to highlight the enzymes responsible for the biosynthesis of oroxylin-A and oroxyloside. This will test the feasibility of using agrobacterium-mediated transformation as a way to improve the production of these compounds.