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Plant Scientist Montgomery Named MSU Foundation Professor

Beronda Montgomery and Model of phytochrome biosynthesis.

Beronda Montgomery, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology and microbiology and molecular genetics, and a member of the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory, has been named an MSU Foundation Professor.

The MSU Foundation Professor title is designated for individuals who combine externally recognized, exemplary scholarly accomplishment and/or potential, with clear professional relevance to specific areas of MSU scholarly need, disciplinary development, or research or creative emphasis. Consideration is also given to teaching innovation and excellence.

Montgomery, who joined MSU in 2004, is conducting pioneering research to understand the dynamic molecular processes used by photosynthetic organisms to adapt to changes in their photoenvironment.

She has published 75 papers, reviews and book chapters. Among her honors and awards are being named an NSF CAREER Award recipient, a fellow of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation Academic Leadership Program, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor Competition finalist. She is currently a reviewing editor for Frontiers in Environmental Toxicology and an editorial board member of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Prior to joining MSU, she was a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellowship recipient at Indiana University. Montgomery received her doctorate in plant biology from the University of California, Davis.

DIAGRAM (above): Model of phytochrome biosynthesis. Apophytochromes are encoded by a small, nuclear gene family (PHYA-PHYE). The phytochrome chromophore, phytochromobilin (PΦB), is synthesized in plant plastids. Holophytochrome is formed in the cytosol by the binding and subsequent covalent attachment of PΦB to apophytochrome. The impact of plastidic and cytosolic biliverdin reductase (BVR) expression on linear tetrapyrroles biliverdin IXα (BVIXα) and PΦB is shown. BR, bilirubin; PΦR, phytochromorubin.

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