Recent methodological advances enable the quantification of carbon fluxes across complex metabolic networks. These advances have opened an exciting new research field with a largely untapped potential. To quantify carbon fluxes, our group uses 13C Isotopically Nonstationary Metabolic Flux Analysis, a three-step procedure. In the first step, plant leaves are fed 13CO2. Assimilated 13C gradually enters all metabolite pools. In the second step, the time course of 13C enrichment of these pools is measured by mass spectrometry, a technology widely used in both academia and the industry. In the third step, leaf carbon fluxes are modelled in a software package called INCA.
In general, the master project aims at a better understanding of carbon flux through various metabolic pathways in plant leaves. Your specific research interests can be taken into account. For instance, we can try and estimate carbon fluxes in different parts of metabolism, or compare carbon fluxes among different environmental conditions, different plant species, or between mutants and wild type.
To get a better idea of the research direction, please see the following key publications:
- Ma F, Jazmin LJ, Young JD, Allen DK. 2014. Isotopically nonstationary 13C flux analysis of changes in Arabidopsis thaliana leaf metabolism due to high light acclimation. PNAS 111: 16967–16972. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1319485111
- Wieloch T. 2021. The next phase in the development of 13C isotopically nonstationary metabolic flux analysis. JXB 72: 6087–6090. https://doi.org/10.1093/jxb/erab292
- Xu Y, Wieloch T, Kaste JAM, Shachar-Hill Y, Sharkey TD. 2022. Reimport of carbon from cytosolic and vacuolar sugar pools into the Calvin–Benson cycle explains photosynthesis labeling anomalies. PNAS 119: e2121531119. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2121531119
Supervisor: Totte Niittylä, Dept of Forest Genetics and Plant Physiology, SLU.
Tel. 786 84 34. E-mail: totte.niittylä@slu.se