George W. Owttrim
Associate Professor
Mailing Address

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta,
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T6G 2E9
Office Number: M524 Bio Sciences
Email address:
Fax number: (780) 492-9234
Phone number: (780) 492-1803

Academic Degrees


BSc: York University.
MSc: York University.
PhD: University of Toronto.

Areas of Involvement
Advanced Topics in Microbiology
Honours Projects
Eukaryotic Cell Biology
    Biotron Committee (since its formation in October 1994 until present)

Current Research Interests

  My lab is investigating the mechanisms by which photosynthetic organisms sense and respond to environmental change, using cyanobacterial RNA helicases as our model system. Expression of two distinct RNA helicases is regulated specifically by light induced alterations in the redox status of the plastoquinone pool or alterations in temperature (cold shock). Since RNA helicases unwind dsRNA (inactive) to produce ssRNA which is functional, they have the potential to regulate translation, thereby linking environmentally induced changes in gene transcription with control at the translational level. The research involves an integrated approach using molecular, biochemical and physiological techniques.
Selected Publications

Yu, E. and Owttrim, G.W. 2000. Characterization of the cold stress-induced cyanobacterial DEAD-box protein CrhC as an RNA helicase. Nucleic Acids Research 28:3926-3934.

Kujat, S.L. and Owttrim, G.W. 2000. Redox-regulated RNA helicase expression. Plant Physiol. 124:703-713.

Chamot, D. and Owttrim, G.W. 2000. Regulation of Cold Shock Induced RNA Helicase Gene Expression in the Cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120. J. Bacteriol. 182:1251-1256.

Chamot, D., Magee, W.C., Yu, E., and Owttrim, G.W. 1999. A cold shock-induced cyanobacterial RNA helicase. J. Bacteriol. 181:1728-1732.

Brander, C., Mandel, T., Owttrim, G.W., and Kuhlemeier, C. 1995. Highly conserved genes coding for eukaryotic translation initiation factor eIF-4A of tobacco have specific alterations in functional motifs. Biochimica Biophysica Acta 1261:442-444.

Owttrim, G.W., Mandel, T., Trachsel, H., Thomas, A.A.M., and Kuhlemeier, C. 1994. Characterization of the tobacco eIF-4A gene family. Plant Molecular Biology 26:1747-1757.

Owttrim, G.W., Hofmann, S., and Kuhlemeier, C. 1991. Divergent genes for translation initiation factor eIF-4A are coordinately expressed in tobacco. Nucleic Acids Research 19:5491-5496.

Owttrim, G.W., and Coleman, J.R. 1989. Regulation of expression and nucleotide sequence of the Anabaena variabilis recA gene. J. Bacteriol. 171:5713-5719.

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