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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Optimizing Rubisco Regulation for Increased Photosynthetic Performance Under Climate Change

Location: Plant Physiology and Genetics Research

Project Number: 5347-21000-012-02-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 13, 2010
End Date: Dec 31, 2013

The objective of this proposal is to develop the technology for improving the efficiency of Rubisco, particularly under the warmer temperatures predicted from climate change. To resolve some of the basic scientific questions that are impeding wide-spread implementation of the technology, we propose to move beyond Arabidopsis by using the oilseed plant, Camelina sativa, to refine the technology and then evaluate the results of the refinements under more natural conditions. The research will allow us to evaluate several mechanistic questions, while also improving camelina germplasm.

To test the feasibility of improving photosynthetic thermotolerance, we would like to launch an extensive transgenic project with the oilseed crop, camelina. In this project we would express both regulated and non-regulated forms of modified activase behind activase and heat-inducible promoters in a background of wild type activase. Transgenic camelina plants harboring the various constructs will be evaluated under natural conditions of light under control and elevated temperatures in the greenhouse and plants with superior performance will be tested in the field. Successful completion of the three objectives with camelina and a fourth objective with tobacco will resolve outstanding questions about the feasibility of improving plant thermotolerance by introducing an improved activase and answer several basic mechanistic questions about the regulation of Rubisco in plants.

Last Modified: 08/23/2017
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