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