Recreating components of C2 photosynthesis in Arabidopsis


Marjorie Lundgren, Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University

Anna Amtmann, School of Molecular Biosciences, University of Glasgow

Gabriela Toledo-Ortiz, The James Hutton Institute



Climate change and the growing human population are putting additional pressure global our agricultural systems, creating an urgent need to achieve step changes in crop photosynthetic efficiency to meet food security and nutrition requirements. C2 photosynthesis is a carbon concentrating mechanism with promise to maintain nutritional integrity and improve photosynthetic efficiency under climate change. Recent studies have already made important strides in understanding the genes and regulatory elements that underlie the requirements to recreate a C2 phenotype and Arabidopsis stock centres hold several promising lines that require investigating through a C2 phenotype lens.

This studentship will further C2 photosynthesis engineering research. Using the model system Arabidopsis, the student will investigate how changes to key transcription factors might produce required phenotypes for C2 photosynthesis, such as enhanced bundle sheath organelles, and determine the effects of these modifications on leaf anatomy, plant biomass, and yield under different environmental conditions.

To do this, the student will train in plant phenotyping of leaf anatomy, biochemistry, and physiology, as well as molecular biology, synthetic biology, and photobiology. The student will gain valuable skills in fundamental research, experimental design, and translational research, as well as transferable skills in written, verbal, and aesthetic science communication.