Sustainability, Synthetic and Systems Biology
Climate change models and ice-core data on historical atmospheric CO2 levels augur a rise in average and extreme temperatures in the coming decades and regional changes in weather that will reduce rainfall in many parts of the world. Development of sustainable resources, and defining naturally evolved adaptive responses, are thus key for developing local and global strategies to deal with the impending changes in climate.
Building on its foundation laid over the past several years, this group will:
A) Develop and implement synthetic genomics technologies for model algal and plant species, toward generating strains with superior characteristics for green production of bio-based feedstock with stress tolerance;
B) Define adaptive evolution in Avicennia marina, the local mangrove species, resolving genotype and phenotype variability of this regionally important plant, as well as its environmental adaptive responses to temperature, drought and salinity.
The obtained information and implemented technologies will enable the development of experimental strategies to enhance conservation of local flora and sustainable production of bioproducts such as biofuel precursors and biodegradable plastics.