Dominique Loqué

Director of Cell Wall Engineering

Research Focus

Dominique Loqué’s current research activities involve the optimization of plant development and biomass characteristics for sustainable energy-crop and bioenergy production. He is developing synthetic biology tools for plant engineering – applicable to many plant species – to reduce cell-wall recalcitrance and, ultimately, optimized energy-crop production. He is currently building non-existing biosynthetic pathways in specific plant-tissues such as lignifying cells to produce novel lignin monomers to modify the physical properties of the lignin in order to reduce its recalcitrance and/or to valorize this aromatic polymer for down-stream applications. He is redesigning cell wall biosynthetic pathways and regulatory networks to improve cell wall properties for bioenergy applications. He is developing yeast tools to screen for plant proteins mediating cellular export of aromatic metabolites derived from the phenylpropanoid pathway. Finally, he is currently using a similar approach to optimize plant-microbial interactions in order to reduce fertilizer inputs.


  • Creation of novel dominant approach to reduce lignin content or modify its composition to reduce cell wall recalcitrance and valorize its downstream utilization
  • Developing and optimizing of novel expression tools for monocot and dicot secondary cell wall
  • Developing rapid and easy gene stacking approach for plant engineering
  • Developing synthetic biology tools to engineer plant root system and improve biomass yield
  • Optimizing plant-microbe interactions for sustainable supply of nitrogen for bioenergy crops

Featured Media

2014 R&D 100 Winner – Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Tissue-Specific Cell-Wall Engineering


Director’s 2014 Lifetime and Exceptional Achievement Award


2014 Robert Rabson Award – Dominique Loqué


Five Berkeley Lab Researchers Receive DOE Early Career Awards


 Swords to Plowshares: Engineering Plants for More Biofuel sugars

On the right is an Arabidopsis plant engineered to reduce the xylan content while preserving the structural integrity of its cell walls. It compares favorably to wild type plant on the far left. In the middle is a xylan-deficient mutant.

Making Do with More: Joint BioEnergy Institute Researchers Engineer Plant Cell Walls to Boost Sugar Yields for Biofuels

JBEI’s Henrik Scheller (left) and Dominque Loque, shown here with Arabidopsis plants, are engineering plant cell walls to make the sugars within more accessible. (Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt, Berkeley Lab)

Featured Publications

Featured Intellectual Property