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Research interests

Photosynthesis is essential for agricultural production but it is one of the most heat-sensitive processes in plants. Heat stress decreases photosynthetic rates, jeopardizes plant growth, reduces crop yields, and hinders biofuel production. This problem will only become exacerbated as global warming progresses. Despite this, the mechanisms how photosynthetic cells regulate heat responses remain poorly understood. To engineer heat-tolerant crops and algae for food and biofuel, a thorough understanding of how plant cells perceive and respond to heat stress is required. My laboratory currently has two projects listed below.

Project 1. Interrogate the functional genomic landscape of heat sensing and regulation in photosynthetic cells by using a genome-saturating, mapped, indexed, algal mutant library and a quantitative phenotyping tool.

Project 2. Explore the regulation of photosynthesis in C4 crops (e.g. maize) under high temperatures by using C4 model plant Setaria viridis.

Available to Mentor:

  • PhD/MSTP Students


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