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.
March 6-6, 2016 DOE awardee meeting: The meeting was held at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center. The project was represented by five posters. View program.
January 8-13, 2016 Plant & Animal Genome XXIV: The meeting was held at the Town & Country Hotel, San Diego, CA, USA. The CAM Biodesign project was represented by four oral presentations, five posters and a workshop. Search Abstracts.
February 22-25, 2015 DOE awardee meeting: The meeting was held at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center. The project was represented by three posters. View program.
January 10-14, 2015 Plant & Animal Genome XXIII: The meeting was held at the Town & Country Hotel, San Diego, CA, USA. This project was represented by oral presentations by Paul Abraham, Jerry Jenkins and Won Yim, as well as five posters. Search Abstracts.
July 15-18, 2014 -34th New Phytologist Symposium: CAMBioDesign researchers will be participating in the event Event Link
February 10-12, 2014 DOE awardee meeting: The meeting was held February at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center. John Cushman presented at this event and the project was represented by three posters. View program.
February 24-27, 2013 DOE awardee meeting: The meeting was held February 24th-27th at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center. John Cushman presented at this event. View program.
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
Post-Doctoral Research Associate Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Plant Systems Biology and Synthetic Biology / NB50564475. The Plant Systems Biology group is seeking a postdoctoral researcher with experience in plant synthetic biology, genome editing, molecular biology, molecular genetics, and biochemistry. The position will be available starting May 1, 2016 and remain open until a suitable candidate is found. Please see our Recruiting site for more information. Announcement NB50564475.Posted: May 2, 2016