To understand the function of previously unknown genes in the ability of photosynthesis to function under either low or high CO2 conditions.
The efficiency with which plants use CO2 for photosynthesis has been of great interest to plant biologists as it has direct bearing on many aspects of plant performance including growth rate and productivity, water use efficiency, nitrogen use efficiency and performance at both low and high temperatures. We have recently developed a chlorophyll fluorescence screening technique which has been able to isolate a suite of mutants which are sensitive either to low CO2 or high CO2 growth conditions and show great promise as a means to gain new insights into genes and cell processes involved in efficient photosynthesis under both these conditions. It is presumed that low-CO2 sensitive phenotype mutants are impaired in aspects of photorespiration, however the basis of high CO2 sensitivity is unclear.
Characterize one or more EMS-generated Arabidopsis mutants which have already been isolated and have undergone preliminary analysis. These mutants are impaired is aspects of their abilities to use both high and low CO2 efficiently for photosynthesis. The project would involve aspects of mutant mapping and mutation identification, biochemical and physiological characterization with an emphasis on photosynthetic function. Analysis of the transcriptome and metabolome would be included.