Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) is a photosynthetic CO2 fixation pathway that maximizes water use efficiency (WUE) many times relative to C3 species by using a temporal CO2 pump. Thus, CAM provides an excellent opportunity to engineer both enhanced photosynthetic performance and WUE into bioenergy crops. The proposed research will provide a comprehensive understanding of the enzymatic and regulatory pathways required to engineer CAM photosynthetic machinery into Populus. The methods employed will include deep transcriptome sequencing (RNA-Seq) and high-throughput metabolic profiling of leaf mesophyll cells and stomatal guard cells to identify regulators of the nocturnal opening and daytime closure of stomata that underpins the high WUE of CAM plants in order to create co-expression models. Additional deep genome sequencing combined with chromatin-immunoprecipitation (ChIP-Seq) experiments will be conducted to characterize the transcriptional regulatory networks needed for the circadian clock regulation of CAM. Once characterized, metabolic pathway components of 'carboxylation' and 'decarboxylation' modules will be assembled using an iterative cloning system, and CAM modules will be assembled singly and in combination into a predefined single locus of the target plant genome. Modules will be expressed under the control of circadian clock controlled, drought-inducible promoters in both the readily transformable model Arabidopsis and the important bioenergy crop Populus to promote maximal productivity. Resulting plants will be tested under both control and drought stress conditions for transgene expression, biochemical signatures of CAM, CO2 assimilation, stomatal conductance and transpiration rates, leaf carbon balance, level/mode of CAM activity, biomass productivity and quality, and integrated WUE.
February 24-27, 2013 -DOE awardee meeting: The meeting will be held February 24th-27th at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center. CAM will be presenting posters at this event.
August 6-9, 2013 - Annual meeting 2013: C4/CAM meeting will be held in U. of Illinois Campus Conf. Center, Aug. 6-9, 2013; A conference room of our CAM satellite Meeting Aug. 6; C4 Rice Eng. Meeting on Aug. 10). View Flyer
July 15-17, 2014 34th New Phytologist Symposia: Systems biology and ecology of CAM Plants will be held in Lake Tahoe, CA.
Post-Master’s Research Associate in Plant Synthetic Biology at Oak Ridge National Laboratory -- A Post-Master’s position in Plant Synthetic Biology is available in the Plant Systems Biology group within the Biosciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The selected candidate will join a large team of investigators to work on genetic improvement of bioenergy plants using a synthetic biology approach as applied to CAM photosynthesis. The project is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. Posted: 10 Dec 2012
Postdoctoral Research Associate in CAM Functional Genomics at University of Nevada, Reno -- The University of Nevada, Reno is requesting applications for a Postdoctoral Research Associate position in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Nevada, Reno in the laboratories of Drs. Schlauch and Cushman. The incumbent will perform functional genomics research into the molecular genetics and biochemistry of Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM).