The goal is to establish the common or crystalline ice plant (Mesembryanthemum crystallinum L.) as a DOE Plant Flagship Genome species. The ice plant was the first reported halophytic, facultative crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) species, meaning that the plant can be induced to switch from C3 photosynthesis to CAM following water-deficit or salinity stress treatment. CAM is an alternative mode of photosynthetic carbon uptake and CO2 concentrating mechanism that is present in approximately 6.5% of vascular plant species. CAM improves the water-use efficiency (WUE) in these plant species by temporally shifting all or part of net atmospheric CO2 fixation to the nighttime when evapotranspirational water losses are reduced relative to the daytime.
Proposer: John Cushman, University of Nevada