Dr Douglas OrrSenior Research Associate
My work as a member of the Photosynthesis Lab at LEC centres on the central enzyme of photosynthesis, Rubisco (Ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase). As the gatekeeper of carbon entry into the biosphere, Rubisco serves the critical role of assimilating carbon from atmospheric CO2 for the plant to use in growth. However, Rubisco has undesirable characteristics which make it a major rate-limiter of photosynthesis, particularly in crop plants. As part of RIPE: Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency, we are characterising the biochemistry of this complex enzyme from a large number and broad range of species to better understand the variation present in nature.
My current research is focused on studying Rubisco catalytic diversity and response to temperature. This is leading us to study a very a diverse set of species from broad set of environments.
I am working with Martin Parry, Elizabete Carmo-Silva, and Karen Harper, as well as other members of the photosynthesis team here at LEC. I also have active collaborations with colleagues at the University of Illinois (US), USDA-ARS, ITQB-UNL (Portugal), ANU (Aus) and others.
Engineering photosynthesis: progress and perspectives
Orr, D.J., Pereira, A., da Fonseca Pereira, P., Pereira-Lima, I., Zsogon, A., Araujo, W. 29/08/2017
Extraction of Rubisco to Determine Catalytic Constants
Orr, D.J., Carmo-Silva, A.E. 8/08/2017 In: Photosynthesis: Methods and Protocols. Springer Science + Business Media
Uncertainty in measurements of the photorespiratory CO2 compensation point and its impact on models of leaf photosynthesis
Walker, B., Orr, D.J., Carmo-Silva, A.E., Parry, M.A.J., Bernacchi, C.J., Ort, D.R. 06/2017 In: Photosynthesis Research. 132, 3, p. 245-255. 11 p.
Rubisco small subunits from the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas complement Rubisco-deficient mutants of Arabidopsis
Atkinson, N., Leitão, N., Orr, D.J., Meyer, M., Carmo-Silva, A.E., Griffiths, H., Smith, A., McCormick, A. 04/2017 In: New Phytologist. 214, 2, p. 655-667. 13 p.
Surveying Rubisco diversity and temperature response to improve crop photosynthetic efficiency
Orr, D.J., Melao Alcantara, A., Kapralov, M.V., Andralojc, P.J., Carmo-Silva, A.E., Parry, M.A.J. 3/10/2016 In: Plant Physiology. 172, 2, p. 707-717. 11 p.
Rubisco catalytic properties of wild and domesticated relatives provide scope for improving wheat photosynthesis
Prins, A., Orr, D.J., Andralojc, P.J., Reynolds, M.P., Carmo-Silva, E., Parry, M.A.J. 03/2016 In: Journal of Experimental Botany. 67, 6, p. 1827-1838. 12 p.
Isoleucine 309 acts as a C4 catalytic switch that increases ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (rubisco) carboxylation rate in flaveria
Whitney, S.M., Sharwood, R.E., Orr, D., White, S.J., Alonso, H., Galmés, J. 30/08/2011 In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 108, 35, p. 14688-14693. 6 p.
Culture conditions affect the chemical composition of the exopolysaccharide synthesized by the fungus Aureobasidium pullulans
Orr, D., Zheng, W., Campbell, B.S., McDougall, B.M., Seviour, R.J. 08/2009 In: Journal of Applied Microbiology. 107, 2, p. 691-698. 8 p.
Realizing increased photosynthetic Efficiency for sustainable increases in Crop Yield
01/09/2015 → …
Society for Experimental Biology/Company of Biologists Travel Grant
Prize (including medals and awards)