Heather MacKay

MSc Student


Identifying novel p-hydroxybenzoyl-CoA monolignol transferases in plants

Research Interests

My research focuses on gene discovery in lignin biosynthesis. More specifically I am aiming to identify the poplar gene that encodes for a p-hydroxybenzoyl-CoA monolignol transferase which participates in the biosynthesis of acetylated monolignols. Understanding the mechanisms driving acetylated monolignol biosynthesis will allow us to better understand the plasticity of lignification and potentially develop novel transgenic plant lines with commercial applications. The goal is to generate transgenic trees which have an altered lignin that favours more cost-effective and sustainable biomass utilisation.


BSc – Honours Biology, Specialization in Molecular and Integrative Biology, Queen’s University (2016)