Inducible CAM in T. fruticosum – adaptation of resource allocation to altered environment and its genetic basis
Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) has evolved as the most water-use efficient form of photosynthesis. By assimilating carbon at night at lower temperatures, CAM plants can decrease their water loss compared to C3 or C4 species. Typically, agricultural crops are C3 or C4 plants, such as rice, maize, or wheat. Projections show that the supply of these crops is insufficient to meet the demand in the future. Due to the challenges of a rising population and climate change more research into the improvement of crops regarding their use of water is necessary.
The facultative CAM plant Talinum fruticosum can reversibly reallocate its resources from C3 to CAM photosynthesis during water stress and back to C3 upon rewatering. Previous research has shown that T. fruticosum undergoes a transcriptional reprogramming upon CAM induction, which is reversed when the plant is rewatered. Based on transcriptomics data a hypothetical signal transduction cascade could be reconstructed. The aim of my project is to determine the turn-over rates of major photosynthetic pigments, carbon-storage pools, and the proteome during CAM induction. As T. fruticosum is part of the “ACPT” clade of the Caryophyllales, the genomes of related species will be sequenced to elucidate the genomic differences between C3 and CAM plants.
Starting date: 01.10.2022 / Qualification Fellow
Thesis committee members: Andreas Weber, tba