Sept 2011. MSc student Eric Fedosejevs presents invited lecture on "In vivo phosphorylation of castor seed sucrose synthase", and Plaxton talks about the "Remarkable Diversity of Phosphoenolpyruvate Carboxylase" at the Plant Protein Phosphorylation Workshop (Lake Tahoe, USA).
July 2011.MSc student Whitney Robinson won the President's award from the Canadian Society of Plant Biologists for giving the best student oral presentation at the recent Plant Canada 2011 conference in Halifax. Her talk was entitled "Feeding hungry plants. The role of secreted purple acid phosphatases in Arabidopsis phosphate nutrition". Congratulations Whitney!
Systems that we are currently studying include developing and germinating castor oilseeds, and suspension cell cultures and seedlings of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. We are also collaborating with Prof. Pascale Champagne (Civil Engineering, Queen's) and her team on novel, sustainable approaches to green algae-derived 'carbon-neutral' biofuels production and recovery. This research will provide a range of benefits to Canada: including promoting the development of the renewable energy sector and reducing GHG emissions.
Our overall research has significant long-term applications to problems in Canadian agriculture including the: (1) targeted modification of storage oil versus protein levels in oilseeds such as canola or soybean, (2) optimizing plant-based conversion of atmospheric CO2 into renewable energy sources such as biodiesel and ethanol, and (3) development of phosphorus-efficient crops, urgently needed to reduce mankind’s rampant but inefficient use of non-renewable, unsustainable, and polluting phosphate fertilizers.
Generous funding of our research by NSERC and the Queen's Research Chairs Program is gratefully acknowledged. We are also indebted to the CIHR for their support of the Queen's Protein Function Discovery Research and Training Program.