von Caemmerer Group - CO2 fixation and water loss of leaves

the von Caemmerer Group in 2021

We are investigating aspects of carbon acquisition by plants including the biochemistry of CO2 fixation and regulation of CO2 diffusion into and within leaves.

We are members of two international research consortia:  RIPE (Routes to Improving Photosynthetic Efficiency), an international collaboration which is aiming to improve C3 photosynthesis (https://ripe.illinois.edu/) and the C4 rice consortium which is attempting to transfer the CO2 assimilation apparatus of high yielding crops such as maize into rice (https://c4rice.com/)

Current research topics include:

  • Understanding the biochemical regulation of C3 and C4 photosynthesis
  • Studies on how to enhance C3 and C4 photosynthesis through molecular engineering
  • Understanding CO2 diffusion inside leaves.
  • Physiological and molecular regulation of stomatal movement.
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Selected publications

  • Danila F, ThakurV, ChatterjeeJ, BalaS, CoeRA, AcebronK, FurbankRT, von Caemmerer S, QuickWP(2021) Bundle sheath suberisation is required for C4 photosynthesis in a Setaria viridis mutant. Nature communications 4(1) 1-10.

    Clark, V, Danila F, von Caemmerer, S (2021)     CO2 diffusion in tobacco: a link between mesophyll conductance and leaf anatomy. Interface focus 11 (2), 20200040.

    Ermakova M , Arrivault, S , Giuliani, R, Danila, F , Alonso-Cantabrana, H , Vlad, D, Ishihara, H, Feil, R, Guenther, M , Borghi, GL , Covshoff, S, Ludwig, M , Cousins, AB, Langdale, JA , Kelly, S , Lunn, JE , Stitt, M , von Caemmerer, S,  Furbank, RT (2020) Installation of C4 photosynthetic pathway enzymes in rice using a single construct. Plant Biotechnology journal 1-4

    von Caemmerer, S, (2020) Invited review: Rubisco carboxylase/oxygenase: from the enzyme to the globe, a gas exchange perspective. Journal of Plant Physiology, 153240

    Zhu, XB; Ort, D; Parry MA; von Caemmerer S, (2020) A wish list for synthetic biology in photosynthesis research. Journal of Experimental Botany 71 (7), 2219-2225.

    Ermakova, M, Danila F, Furbank RT, von Caemmerer, S (2020) Invited review: On the road to C4 rice, The Plant Journal, 101, 940-950.

    Ermakova, M, Lopez-Calcagno, PE, Raines, CA, Furbank, RT, von Caemmerer, S (2019) Overexpression of the Rieske FeS protein of the Cytochrome b6f complex increases C4 photosynthesis. Communications Biology volume 2, Article number: 314 (2019)

    Danila, FR, Quick, WP, White, RG, Kelly S; von Caemmerer, S; Furbank, RT (2018) Multiple mechanisms for enhanced plasmodesmatal density in disparate subtypes of C4 grasses. Journal of Experimental Botany 69 (5), 1135-1145

    Rogers, A; Medlyn, B; Dukes, J; Bonan, G; von Caemmerer, S; Dietze; Kattge, J; Leakey, A; Mercado, L; Niinemets, Ü; Prentice, I; Serbin, S; Sitch, S; Way, D; Zaehle, S (2016) A Roadmap for Improving the Representation of Photosynthesis in Earth System Models. New Phytologist 213(1): 22-42.

    Osborn, HL, Alonso-Cantabrana, H. Sharwood, RE, Covshoff, S, Evans JR, Furbank RT, von Caemmerer, S (2017) Effects of reduced carbonic anhydrase activity on CO2 assimilation rates in Setaria viridis: a transgenic analysis. Journal of Experimental Botany 68 (2): 299-310

    Danila, FR, Quick, WP, White, RG, Furbank, RT, von Caemmerer, S (2016) The metabolite pathway between bundle sheath and mesophyll: quantification of plasmodesmata in leaves of C3 and C4 monocots. The Plant Cell, The Plant Cell 28, 1461-1471

    von Caemmerer, S, Furbank, RT (2016) Strategies for improving C4 photosynthesis, Current Opinion in Plant Biology 31, 125-134.

    Barbour MM, EvansJR, Simonin KA and von Caemmerer S (2016) On-line CO2 and H2O oxygen isotope fractionation allows estimation of mesophyll conductance in C4 plants, and reveals that mesophyll conductance decreases as leaves age in both C4 and C3 plants. New Phytologist 210 (3), 875-889.

    Ort, DR, Merchant, SS, Alric, J, Barkan, A, Blankenship, RE,  Bock, R, Croce, R, Hanson, MR, Hibberd, JM, Long, SP, Moore, TA, James V. Moroney, JV, Niyogi, KK, Parry, MAJ, Peralta-Yahya, PPP, Prince, RC, Redding, KE, Spalding, MH, Klaas J. van Wijk, KJ, Wim F.J. Vermaas, WFJ, von Caemmerer, S, Weber, APM, Yeates, TO, Yuan, JS, Zhu, X (2015) Redesigning photosynthesis to sustainably meet global food and bioenergy demand, PNAS - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 112, no. 28, pp. 8529-8536.

    von Caemmerer, S and Evans JR, (2015) Temperature responses of mesophyll conductance differ greatly between species. Plant Cell & Environment 38, 629–637.

  • von Caemmerer, S, Quick WP, Furbank RT (2012) The Development of C4 Rice: Current Progress and Future Challenges. Science 336, 1671-1672. Abstract | Reprint | Full text
  • Tazoe Y, von Caemmerer S, Estavillo GM, Evans JR (2011) Using tunable diode laser spectroscopy to measure carbon isotope discrimination and mesophyll conductance to CO2 diffusion dynamically at different CO2 concentrations. . Plant Cell & Environment (in press 1 Nov 2010).
  • Price GD, Badger MR, von Caemmerer S (2011) The prospect of using cyanobacterial bicarbonate transporters to improve leaf photosynthesis in C3 crop plants. (invited review) Plant Physiology (in press, Oct 2010).
  • von Caemmerer S, Evans JR, (2010) Enhancing C3 photosynthesis Plant Physiology 154, 589-592.
  • Weber A, von Caemmerer S (2010) Plastid transport and metabolism of C3 and C4 plants - comparative analysis and possible biotechnological exploitation, Current Opinion in Plant Biology.13: 1-9
  • Pengelly JJL, Sirault XRR, TazoeY, Evans JR, Furbank RT, von Caemmerer, S (2010) Growth of the C4 dicot Flaveria bidentis: photosynthetic acclimation to low light through shifts in leaf anatomy and biochemistry. . J. exp Bot. 61, 4109-4122
  • Cousins, AB, Ghannoum, O, von Caemmerer, S, Badger, MR (2010) Simultaneous determination of Rubisco carboxylase and oxygenase kinetic parameters in Triticum aestivum and Zea mays using membrane inlet mass spectrometry. Plant Cell & Environment 33,444-452
  • Furbank RT, von Caemmerer S, Sheehy, J, Edwards, G (2009) C4 rice: a challenge for plant phenomics. Functional Plant Biology 36, 845-856
  • Yamori W, von Caemmerer S (2009) Effect of Rubisco activase deficiency on the temperature response of CO2 assimilation rate and Rubisco activation state: Insights from transgenic tobacco with reduced amounts of Rubisco activase. Plant Physiol.151, 2073-2082
  • Baroli, I, Price, DG, Badger, MR, von Caemmerer, S (2007) The contribution of photosynthesis to the red light response of stomatal conductance. Plant Physiol. 146, 737-743
  • Furumoto, T, Izui K, Quinn, V, Furbank, RT, von Caemmerer, S (2007) Phosphorylation of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase is not essential for high photosynthetic rates in the C4 species Flaveria bidentis Plant Physiol. 141, 1936-1945.

All publications

Recorded PS Transcendence Webinar Series, Professor Susanne von Caemmerer

PS Transcendence Webinar Series: Quantitative links between gas exchange of leaves and photosynthetic biochemistry

Event | Wed 13 October 2021
Mathematical models of leaf photosynthesis provide a mechanistic base for predicting and assessing changes in photosynthetic CO2 fixation in different environments and provide a means of scaling predictions from leaves to canopies and regions.
Recorded seminar (Dr Maria Ermakova)

PS Seminar Series - Paying the energy cost of C4 photosynthesis

Event | Wed 12 May 2021
Photosynthetic improvement has become a major focus for researchers seeking to increase yields of crop plants.

PS PhD Exit Seminar: The role of leaf plasmodesmata in C4 photosynthesis

Event | Wed 17 October 2018

C4 photosynthesis requires a combination of both biochemical and anatomical specialisation of leaf cells.

Scientists show drought-tolerant crops need skin in the game

Story | Tuesday 16 March 2021
ANU experts have found a way to precisely measure a crop’s water loss through its skin, not just the pores on their leaves.

Shining stars of science honoured with Academy awards

Story | Thursday 11 March 2021
Three researchers from ANU who've changed the way we see the world have been recognised for their ground-breaking work with prestigious awards from The Australian Academy of Science.
Seeing the light: Better plants, better future

Seeing the light: Better plants, better future

Story | Wednesday 3 February 2021
Increasing food production is one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century. The Australian Academy of Science has produced a video featuring researchers who are from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Translational Photosynthesis and the ANU Research School of Biology.

Susanne von Caemmerer - Real STEM Wonder Women

Story | Tuesday 11 February 2020
Susanne von Caemmerer is a real STEM Wonder Woman.

Susanne von Caemmerer, a career in science from maths to plants

Story | Tuesday 18 December 2018
Susanne von Caemmerer is recognised as a worldwide expert for using mathematics to represent the process by which plants convert sunlight, gases and water into sugars and oxygen – photosynthesis.

Blue-green algae promises to help boost food crop yields

Story | Tuesday 4 September 2018
Scientists at ANU have engineered tiny carbon-capturing engines from blue-green algae into plants, in a breakthrough that promises to help boost the yields of important food crops such as wheat, cowpeas and cassava.

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