Hello, my name is Josh Widhalm. I was born and raised in Columbus, Nebraska and I got my B.S. in biochemistry (2005) and M.S. in horticulture (2007), both from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I received my Ph.D. in 2011 from The Center for Plant Science Innovation at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where I worked on the biosynthesis and redox metabolism of plant and cyanobacterial quinones.
I joined Dr. Natalia Dudareva’s lab in August of 2011. My research focuses on the metabolism of phenylalanine and phenylalanine-derived metabolites, including benzoic and salicylic acids, in plants. I am supported by a Postdoctoral fellowship from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (http://www.moore.org/) via the Life Sciences Research Foundation.
Yoo, H., Widhalm, J.R., Qian, Y., Maeda, H., Cooper, B.R., Jannasch, A.S., Gonda, I., Lewinsohn, E., Rhodes, D., Dudareva, N. (2013) A microbial-like pathway contributes to phenylalanine biosynthesis in plants via a cytosolic tyrosine:phenylpyruvate aminotransferase. Nat Chem Biol, submitted.
Furt, F., Allen W.J., Widhalm, J.R., Madzelan P., Rizzo, R.C., Basset, G., Wilson, M.A. (2013) Functional convergence of structurally distinct thioesterases from cyanobacteria and plants involved in phylloquinone biosynthesis. Acta Crystallogr., Sect. D: Biol. Crystallogr. (research paper), in press.
Qualley, A.V., Widhalm, J.R., Adebesin, F., Kish, C.M., Dudareva, N. (2012) Completion of the core b-oxidative pathway of benzoic acid biosynthesis in plants. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 109(40): 16383-8.
Widhalm, J.R., Ducluzeau, A.L., Buller, N.E., Elowsky, C.G., Olsen, L.J., and Basset, G.J.C. (2012) Phylloquinone (Vitamin K1) Biosynthesis in Plants: Two Peroxisomal Thioesterases of Lactobacillales Origin Hydrolyze 1,4-Dihydroxy-2-naphthoyl-CoA. The Plant Journal, 71(2): 205-15.
Klempien, A., Kaminaga, Y., Qualley, A., Nagegowda, D.A., Widhalm, J.R., Orlova, I., Shasany, A.K., Taguchi, G., Kish, C.M., Cooper, B.R., D’Auriae, J.C., Rhodes, D., Pichersky, E., and Dudareva, N. (2012) The contribution of CoA ligases to the biosynthesis of benzenoids in petunia flowers. The Plant Cell, 24(5): 2015-30.
Xu, Y.Z., Arrieta-Montiel, M.P., Wamboldt, Y.J., Virdi, K., de Paula, W.B.M., Widhalm, J.R., Basset, G.J., Davila, J.I., Elthon, T.E., Elowsky, C.G., Sato, S.J., Clemente, T.E., and Mackenzie, S.A. (2011) MSH1 is a nucleoid protein that alters mitochondrial and plastid properties and plant response to high light. The Plant Cell, 23: 3428-41.
van Oostende C., Widhalm J.R., Furt F., Ducluzeau A.L., Basset G.J.C. (2011) Phylloquinone (Vitamin K1): function, enzymes and genes. in Advances in Botanical Research, eds Fabrice Rébeillé and Roland Douce, 59: 229-61, Academic Press (Amsterdam).
Furt, F., van Oostende, C., Widhalm, J.R., Dale, M.A., Wertz, J., and Basset, G.J.C. (2010) A bimodular oxidoreductase mediates the specific reduction of phylloquinone (vitamin K1) in chloroplasts. The Plant Journal, 64: 38-46.
Widhalm, J.R., van Oostende, C., Furt, F., and Basset, G.J.C. (2009) A dedicated thioesterase of the Hotdog-fold family is required for the biosynthesis of the naphthoquinone ring of vitamin K1. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 106(14): 5599–5603.
van Oostende, C.*, Widhalm, J.R.* (*co-first author), and Basset, G.J.C. (2008) Detection and quantification of vitamin K1 quinol in leaf tissues. Phytochemistry, 69: 2457–2462.
Prather, B.L., Widhalm, J.R., Markwell, J., and Herman, P.L. (2006) Development of a system for directed evolution of Arabidopsis formate dehydrogenase to utilize NADP as a cofactor. RURALS: Review of Undergraduate Research in Agricultural and Life Sciences. 1:1(3). The Berkeley Electronic Press. http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/rurals/vol1/iss1/3/.