Plants are able to sense and respond to temperature changes in their environment. However, the mechanism by which high temperature is sensed and then relayed to affect the expression of heat shock transcription factors (HSFs) is unclear. Dickinson et al. demonstrated that Arabidopsis plants show diurnal variation in thermotolerance, which correlates with expression of the […]
About Mike Page
I am a plant molecular biologist whose main research interests include the role of photosynthesis as a sensor of environmental cues, as-well-as the use of synthetic biology to engineer improvements in photosynthetic efficiency to increase crop yields.
I have a background in plant responses to abiotic stress, particularly those involving antioxidant defences. I have worked on several research projects focused on characterising retrograde signalling mechanisms, both during chloroplast development (biogenic control) and in mature plants (operational control). I am currently working on a synthetic biology project which aims to increase the photosynthetic efficiency of rice, the world’s most important crop. By engineering the cyanobacterial carbon dioxide concentrating mechanism into rice chloroplasts, I hope to improve rice yields in a sustainable manner. I believe synthetic biology will play a major role in shaping the future of crop production.
Entries by Mike Page
C4 photosynthesis describes a biochemical CO2-concentrating mechanism that relies on the spatial separation of biochemistry between two cell types, mesophyll cells (MCs) and bundle sheath cells (BSCs). However, there is currently little evidence on how some genes are preferentially expressed in BSCs over MCs. Reyna-Llorens et al. demonstrate that two cis regulatory motifs in the […]
The activation of photosynthetic electron transport upon a dark-to-light transition occurs prior to the initiation of CO2 fixation by Rubisco in the Calvin cycle. A mechanism known as cyclic electron transfer (CET) exists that generates the proton motive force required to drive ATP synthesis without an accumulation of NADPH, thereby protecting photosystem I during this […]
The assembly of the carbon fixing enzyme Rubisco is a complex process and involves many chaperones including RAF1, RbcX and the chaperonins. Recent evidence pointed to the existence of another chaperone, RAF2, conserved among photosynthetic organisms. The protein has similarity to pterin-4α-carbinolamine dehydratase (PCD), although appears to lack activity in the species studied to date. […]
Ambitious plant synthetic biology projects are driving the evolution of advanced DNA assembly techniques that permit efficient and rapid assembly of multiple transcriptional units (TUs). Pollack et al. have incorporated features of individual techniques into a single “general purpose DNA assembly system”. The system takes advantage of the standardisation of the MoClo/GoldenBraid/PhytoBricks syntax, and uses […]
Plant Cell. The yield potential of crops is strongly influenced by floral architecture, a trait determined by the fate of stem cells in meristematic tissue. Meristems themselves are influenced by several factors, including phytohormones such as brassinosteroids (BRs) and gibberellic acid (GA). BRs act locally to promote growth, but can also affect the accumulation of […]
Nat. Plants. Soybean is the world’s sixth most produced crop and is economically important as a source of protein and oil in animal and human food, as well as having industrial applications. Domestication of soybean has resulted in the absence of seed coat bloom, a powdery coating containing hazardous allergens that protects seeds from predators. […]
Over the last two decades, Ash dieback (ADB) has been sweeping through Europe killing or damaging a large proportion of European common ash trees (Fraxinus excelsior). ADB results from infection by wind borne spores of the fungus Hymenoscyphus fraxineus. As ADB spread and the scientific research effort increased, it became clear that some ash trees […]
Phytochromes are plant photoreceptors that can sense red and far-red light, as-well-as the ratio of these light qualities. This review examines the relationship between phytochrome signalling and carbon metabolism. Krahmer et al. assess the influence of phytochrome signalling on the synthesis of chlorophyll and carotenoids, the establishment of photosynthesis, the accumulation of photosynthetic proteins, primary […]