Photosynthesis is the biological process that uses the energy of sunlight to drive the primary production of organic carbon in the biosphere. Despite its fundamental importance, researchers have not yet identified all of the genes that are required for photosynthesis. To identify potentially hundreds of new genes that are necessary for photosynthesis, researchers plan to resequence hundreds of mutants of the DOE JGI’s flagship alga, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, that are unable to perform photosynthesis. Because photosynthesis has been a highly conserved process during evolution, the knowledge gained from Chlamydomonas will be relevant to other algae and plants that have important roles in global carbon cycling and as potential biofuel feedstocks.
Proposer’s Name: Kris Niyogi, UC Berkeley