Title: Coordination of structure and metabolic features in C4 photosynthesis
Speaker: Prof. Xinguang Zhu, CAS-MPG Partner Institute for Computational Biology, SIBS, CAS
Date: November 17th, 2017 (Friday)
Host PI: Prof. Heng Zhang
Venue: PSC Auditorium
Prof. Zhu obtained his PhD degree from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,
, and gained additional post-doctoral experience also at University of Illinois. In Prof. Zhu’s group, improving photosynthesis is regarded as a major, if not only feasible, option to dramatically increase crop productivity and ultimately solve the food and energy issues facing our society for now and in the near future. They are interested in exploring new options to improve photosynthesis of major crops using state-of-art systems biology and synthetic biology approaches. Specifically, they focus on a) developing new modes and tools to support identification of new breeding or engineering targets to gain higher photosynthetic efficiency and correspondingly higher productivity in major C3 food crops, such as rice b) identifying critical regulators controlling the evolutionary and developmental processes of C4 photosynthesis, which holds higher light, nitrogen, and water use efficiencies than C3 photosynthesis, with the ultimate goal of engineering C4 photosynthetic system into C3 crops. They are also working on understanding how improved photosynthetic efficiency can be effectively converted into increased grain production in crops. In their studies, in addition to systems modeling, they use a suite of techniques, including physiological measurement, biochemical and molecular experiments, comparative genomic, transcriptomics, and epigenomics, and genome wide association studies.