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Department of Energy Projects

This subset of projects has major funding from the US Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences. These areas aim to study photosynthetic organisms in dynamic environments, to improve yields; holistically understand and devise models of photosynthesis, over a range of temporal and spatial scales; and explore cyanobacterial photosynthesis and apply that knowledge for renewable energy, medical, and industrial applications.

Four photos, showing plants in the different seasons

Photosynthesis in real environments

Drought. Frost. Clouds. Photosynthesis has to adapt to ever-changing conditions. We study photosynthesis under realistic conditions so we someday can improve it.

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Graphic of a phycobillisome-photosystemOptimizing photosynthetic productivity with subcellular and cellular modules

Plants and algae are nature’s biological solar panels. By capturing light energy from the sun and converting it into dense energy molecules, through the process of photosynthesis, these organisms support most of life on our planet.

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cartoon of a plant cell under persistent environmental conditions, such as heat or grazing insects The chloroplast in the cellular context

Photosynthesis requires the coordination of many different cellular processes simultaneously; inefficiencies in any one process will limit the overall capacity of the plant to convert sunlight energy into fixed carbon and other forms of cellular energy.

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