About Crassulacean Acid Metabolism

CAM diagram 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.

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News

  • 04 Oct 2012Researchers seek to transfer water-wise traits to biofuel crops. source ethanolproducer.com
  • 04 Oct 2012 $14.3M DOE Multi-Lab Biofuel Research Grant Enables UN Reno to Study Drought Resistant Plants. source info.biotech-calendar.com
  • 01 Oct 2012 UNR research team looking at tequila plant as source of energy. Lake Tahoe News. source latetahoenews.net
  • 28 Sep 2012 Researchers to Play with Poplar Photosynthesis. source hobbyfarms.com
  • 27 Sep 2012 Project set to explore biofuel potential of desert plants. source theengineer.co.uk
  • 27 Sep 2012 Explores Plants Using Nocturnal Photosynthesis For Biofuels Potential. source biofuelsjournal.com
  • 26 Sep 2012 Uncovering the biofuel potential of plants that breathe in the dark source ncl.ac.uk
  • 24 Sep 2012 Developing water efficient biofuel crops. source liv.ac.uk
  • 17 Sep 2012 DOE awards $14.3 million to University of Nevada, Reno to design bioenergy crops for arid, hot climates. source biofuelsdigest.com
  • 14 Sep 2012 New Study on Water-wise Biofuel Crops. source domesticfuel.com
  • 14 Sep 2012 Water-wise biofuel crop study to alter plants metabolic, photosynthesis process. source phys.org
  • 14 Sep 2012 Research aims to introduce drought tolerance into woody biomass. source biomassmagazine.com
  • 14 Sep 2012 New Study on Water-wise Biofuel Crops. source domesticfuel.com
  • 14 Sep 2012 CABNR’s Cushman leads joint research effort with $14 million DOE grant. source unr.edu
  • 14 Sep 2012 Water-wise biofuel crop study to alter plants metabolic, photosynthesis process; University of Nevada, Reno professor leads multi-institutional effort with $14 million Department of Energy grant.source newsroom.unr.edu
  • 13 Sep 2012Water-wise biofuel crop study to alter plants metabolic, photosynthesis process; University of Nevada, Reno professor leads multi-institutional effort with $14 million Department of Energy grant. source newsroom.unr.edu
  • 13 Sep 2012DOE Funded Consortium to Explore Desert-Adapted Plants For Biofuels Feedstock Application Potential. source biofuelsjournal.com

Publications

  • Silvera K, Winter K, Rodgriguez BL, Albion, RL, Cushman JC. (2014) Multiple isoforms of phophoenolpyruvate carboxylase in the Orchidacea (subtribe Oncidiinae): implications for the evolution of crassulacean acid metabolism. J. Exp. Bot. (2014) 65 (13): 3623-3636. doi: 10.1093/jxb/eru234
  • Ceusters J, Borland AM, Taybi T, Godts C, Lembrechts, Calcoen J, De Proft MP. (2014). Light quality modulates metabolic synchronization over the diel phases of crassulacean acid metabolism. J. Exp. Bot. (2014) 65 (13): 3705-3714. doi: 10.1093/jxb/eru185
  • Cushman JC. 2014. Interview with John C. Cushman. Trends Plant Sci. 19 (5): 274-275. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2014.03.003.
  • Yin H, Chen CJ, Yang J, Weston DJ, Chen JG, Muchero W, Ye N, Tschaplinski TJ, Wullschleger SD, Cheng ZM, Tuskan GA, Yang X. . 2014. Functional Genomics of Drought Tolerance in Bioenergy Crops. Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences 33:205-224 doi: 10.1080/07352689.2014.870417.
  • De Paoli HC, Borland AM, Tuskan GA, Cushman JC, Yang X. 2014. Synthetic biology as it relates to CAM photosynthesis: challenges and opportunities J. Exp. Bot. (2014) 65 (13): 3381-3393. doi: 10.1093/jxb/eru038.
  • Borland AM, Hartwell J, Weston DJ, Schlauch KA, Tschaplinski TJ, Tuskan GA, Yang X, Cushman JC. Engineering crassulacean acid metabolism to improve water-use efficiency. 2014. Trends Plant Sci. Volume 19, Issue 5, May 2014, Pages 327-338. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2014.01.006.
  • Zambrano VA, Lawson T, Olmos E, Fernández-García N, Borland AM (2014). Leaf anatomical traits which accommodate the facultative engagement of crassulacean acid metabolism in tropical trees of the genus Clusia. J. Exp. Bot. (2014) 65 (13): 3513-3523. doi:10.1093/jxb/eru022.
  • Yin H, Chen CJ, Yang J, Weston DJ, Chen JG, Muchero W, Ye N, Tschaplinski TJ, Wullschleger SD, Cheng ZM, Tuskan GA, Yang X. 2014. FUNCTIONAL GENOMICS OF DROUGHT TOLERANCE IN BIOENERGY CROPS. CRITICAL REVIEWS IN PLANT SCIENCES 33:205-224 DOI: 10.1080/07352689.2014.870417.
  • Borland AM, Hartwell J, Weston DJ, Schlauch KA, Tschaplinski TJ, Tuskan GA,Yang X, Cushman JC. Engineering crassulacean acid metabolism to improve water-use efficiency. Trends Plant Sci. 2014 Feb 19. pii: S1360-1385(14)00021-1. [Epub ahead of print] Review. doi:10.1016/j.tplants.2014.01.006.
  • Depaoli HC, Borland AM, Tuskan GA, Cushman JC, Yang X. Synthetic biology as it relates to CAM photosynthesis: challenges and opportunities. J Exp Bot. 2014 Feb 24. [Epub ahead of print] doi:10.1093/jxb/eru038
  • Zambrano VA, Lawson T, Olmos E, Fernández-García N, Borland AM. Leaf anatomical traits which accommodate the facultative engagement of crassulacean acid metabolism in tropical trees of the genus Clusia. J Exp Bot. 2014 Feb 10. [Epub ahead of print] doi:10.1093/jxb/eru022
  • Desert Biofuel Crops: Research aims to transfer dryland traits to biomass plants. Biofuels Journal. Q4, 2012
  • Luttge U. (2007) Carbon dioxide signalling in plant leaves. Crit. Rev. Biol. 330: 375-381.
  • Agarie S, Shimoda T, Shimizu Y, Baumann K, Sunagawa H, Kondo A, Ueno O, Nakahara T, Nose A, Cushman JC. (2007) Salt tolerance, salt accumulation, and ionic homeostasis in an epidermal bladder-cell-less mutant of the common ice plant Mesembryanthemum crystallinum. J Exp Bot. 58: 1957-1967.
  • Slesak I, Libik M, Karpinska B, Karpinski S, Miszalski Z. (2007) The role of hydrogen peroxide in regulation of plant metabolism and cellular signalling in response to environmental stresses. Acta Biochim Pol. 54 :39-50
  • Griffiths H, Cousins AB, Badger MR, von Caemmerer S. (2007) Discrimination in the dark. Resolving the interplay between metabolic and physical constraints to phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase activity during the crassulacean acid metabolism cycle. Plant Physiol. 143: 1055-1067.
  • Winter K, Holtum JA. (2007) Environment or development? Lifetime net CO2 exchange and control of the expression of Crassulacean acid metabolism in Mesembryanthemum crystallinum. Plant Physiol. 143: 98-107.

Events

July 15-18, 2014 -34th New Phytologist Symposium: CAMBioDesign researchers will be participating in the event Event Link

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.

Position Openings

None open at the moment.

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