Maor Bar-Peled
Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, Rm
Phone Number:  706-542-4496

Ph.D , Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel 1993

Research Projects: 

Our laboratory studies the biosynthesis of plant cell walls at the molecular, biochemical and cellular levels. During the past several years we have been working on a project related to biofuels that greatly impacts our nation's potential green energy source. In principle, the idea is to bio-convert biomass (e.g. sugars released from plant cell walls) into ethanol. The major hurdle the industry encounters is that the wall is recalcitrant and currently it is not cost effective for microbial enzymes to degrade the ‘wood’ (lingo-cellulose) into individual sugars that can be fermented to fuel.

One project involves the identification of genes involved in cell wall precursor synthesis and determines how mutations in these genes alter plants to be less recalcitrant to hydrolytic degradation. Other projects involve the development of different types of cell-based assays related to wall biosynthesis in plants and microbes.

For undergraduate research opportunities, please contact Dr. Bar-Peled (

Grant Support: 
  • U.S. Department of Energy, Identification and Characterization of Glycosyltransferases Involved in the Synthesis of the Side Chains of the Cell  Wall Pectic Polysaccharide Rhamnogalacturonan-II
  • U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation, Rhamno-glycoprotein in Botrytis cinerea:  Biosynthesis and Role in Plant Interactions
  • U.S. Department of Energy, BioEnergy Science Center (BESC) II, Biosynthesis of plant cell walls
Of Note: 
  • Faculty participant, DOE-funded BioEnergy Science Center
  • NSF Panel member
  • USDA Panel member
Recent Publications: