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 investigating Rubisco diversity and it's regulation during rapid changes in conditions. We are also collaborating with colleagues to investigate the incorporation of cyanobacterial carbon concentrating mechanisms into higher plants as a means to overcome some of Rubiscos shortcomings and boost plant productivity.
My current research contributes to projects studying the implementation of a cyanobacterial CCM into higher plants, Rubisco catalytic diversity, and Rubisco regulation under fluctuating conditions.
I am working with Martin Parry and Elizabete Carmo-Silva, as well as other members of the photosynthesis team here at LEC. I also have and am part of active collaborations with colleagues at the University of Illinois (US), Cornell, Glasgow University, USDA-ARS, ITQB-UNL (Portugal), ANU (Aus) and others.