Recruiting: Postdoc for C2 engineering with Marjorie Lundgren!

As part of her recently funded UKRI FLF work on engineering C2 photosynthesis, there is an exciting opportunity to work with Marj for a 42 month Senior Postdoctoral Associate role, with the potential for this to be extended.

You can find more about the work here.  Or on her LEC page here.

Application details and further details are available via the Lancaster University jobs page portal.
*Please note that full instructions are at the above link, all applications must be submitted through the portal.

MRes viva – congrats Alex!

Congratulations to Alex Sokolnik who successfully complete his MRes viva this week! Well done!

Alex was working on cowpea development, and like many had to adapt and dramatically change his (formerly lab-based) project part way through.

 

Publication: reporting format for gas exchange data

Really valuable publication recently out from a large group of people including Lancasters Sam Taylor and Marj Lundgren.

This new paper “A reporting format for leaf-level gas exchange data and metadata” is just that, a set of advice and conventions for reporting your gas exchange.
This will help the community more easily share data on repositories and facilitate more detailed and larger meta-analyses, making everyones data and work even more valuable.

Check it out at Ecological Informatics

 

Congratulations Louis on a successful MRes viva!

Congratulations are in order for team member Louis Caruana, who last week passed his MRes viva.
Well done Louis!
Louis’ did a great job having to adjust to an silico project like may others in the changing circumstances, and has produced some very nice work on Rubisco, Rca and related genes.

Thanks also to the internal and external examiners for an interesting and constructive conversation with Louis, with great feedback.

Louis is continuing with the team, now working on an ongoing project with wheat.

Theses submissions!

Well done to group members Louis Caruana and Alex Sokolnik who both recently submitted their Masters by Research theses, and are now preparing for their vivas.

Great job on all your hard work on this in challenging times!

Wheat plants respond to heat by altering Rca levels

In a new publication now online in New Phytologist, research led by former PhD student Gustaf with Doug and Elizabete shows how heat stress alters the amount of Rubisco activase in wheat leaves in an isoform-specific manner. Part of our International Wheat Yield Partnership (IWYP) research, this work is another step towards understanding not only how plants alter their photosynthetic apparatus during stress, but helping us identify ways we might be able to make wheat and other crops more resilient to future changes in climate.

Well done Gustaf for another publication from his recently completed PhD! He’s now a postdoc with Matt Johnson at the University of Sheffield.

50 years since the realisation of Rubisco oxygenation

Check out this great Humboldt review by photosynthesis legend Susanne von Caemmerer, recently published in the Journal of Plant Physiology to commemorate the discovery of the dual nature of Rubisco some 50 years ago. This is a clear, very readable review of the ways the oxygenase side of Rubisco is fundamental to so much of our understanding of photosynthesis, and what its discovery allowed us to learn. Doug and Martin from the team have also contributed a short commentary, expanding a little on the engineering side of Rubisco and the ways engineering is trying to get around oxygenation.

 

 

New publications!

Photosynthetic induction and its limitations.
New RIPE publication now out in PC&E:

Well done to Sam Taylor for leading a publication in Plant, Cell and Environment on variability in photosynthetic induction among closely related Brassica crops.
Alongside comparing these important species, Sam also developed enhanced gas exchange methods for more accurately determining photosynthetic induction and its limitations. Doug, Elizabete, and Steve were also co-authors on the study which is related to our work within the RIPE project to identify ways to improve photosynthetic induction in crops like cowpea, which are key to food security in sub-Saharan Africa.

Paper: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/pce.13862

 

Unraveling part of the ancient Rubisco puzzle:

Another publication with our friends at the Shih lab at UC Davis has recently been published in Nature Plants. This work looked at an ancient Rubisco identified from metagenomics data that lacks small subunits. This ancient form of the CO2-fixing enzyme represents a novel bacterial clade and is being termed a Form I’ Rubisco, composed of 8 large subunits (L8). Congrats to the team led by Doug Banda at UC Davis, with contributions also from UC Berkeley, the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, and from the Lancaster Team Doug, Martin, and Elizabete.

Paper: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41477-020-00762-4