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Nicholas C. Carpita

Contact Information

1-415 Lilly Hall of Life Sciences
Botany and Plant Pathology
College of Agriculture
West Lafayette, IN 47907


Cell biologist and biochemist Nicholas Carpita has advanced analytical capabilities to determine the linkage and sequence structure of cell wall polysaccharides, with particular emphasis on the unique cell walls of grasses. He is one of but a few who has successfully synthesized cell wall polysaccharides in vitro with isolated Golgi membranes, and has established the function of several plant cell wall glycosyl transferases. He is currently working with Purdue’s Structural Biology group to crystallize the catalytic domain of cellulose synthase. His models illustrating the differences in molecular architectures of cell walls of grasses and dicots are widely cited in journal articles and textbooks. He directed a multi-institutional consortium funded by the NSF Plant Genome Research program to establish the maize and Arabidopsis cell wall gene networks.  

Expertise: Cell wall structure and biosynthesis, Functional genomics of cell wall-related genes



Degrees: B.S., Purdue University, 1972 

Ph.D., Colorado State University, 1977


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