Marcos Ariel Tronconi, co-first author of “Respiratory and C4-photosynthetic NAD-malic enzyme coexist in bundle sheath cell mitochondria and evolved via association of differentially adapted subunits”
Current Position: Research Associate at the Center of Photosynthetic and Biochemical Studies (CEFOBI), National Council of Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET), Rosario, Argentina.
Education: PhD in Molecular Biology (University of Rosario, Argentina), B.S in Biotechnology (University of Rosario, Argentina).
Non-scientific Interests: reading, being with people, going dancing, exercising and being physically fit.
Brief bio: My fascination with enzyme biochemistry and protein evolution has inspired my studies in the field of plant sciences for more than ten years. The major focus of my research is the disclosing of the molecular players underlying the adaptive advantages of the accumulation of four-carbon organic acids such as fumarate and malate. I have found in the C3 plant Arabidopsis thaliana and its evolutionary C4-type sisters Gynandroposis gynadra and Clemoe angustifolia the perfect model partners. A. thaliana accumulates a huge amount of fumarate for dealing with cold in contrast to G. gynadra and C. angustifolia which use malate as a CO2 supplier for rubisco. In these species, two relevant enzymes that metabolize malate and fumarate, the NAD-malic enzyme and fumarase, have been studied in depth in my research by using techniques of enzymatic kinetics, structural analyses, molecular docking, evolution and resurrection of ancestral states; as well as, looking at the aptitude of plants with modified levels of these enzymes under different conditions.