Manually curated list






* We report ancient cis-elements, conserved in sequence and position in C3 and C4 grasses, as well as a genome-wide landscape of transcription factor binding in these leaves.


* We report two cis-elements found in coding sequence (duons) that control bundle sheath expression in C4 leaves. These duons appear ancient, being found in ancestral C3 leaves as well as the genomes of algae. These ancient sequencs appear to have been excapted during evolution of the C4 pathway.

** We report that within sexually compatible accesions of the C4) species G. gynandra, which is sister to A. thaliana, there is significant natural varation for multiple traits that underpin the C4 pathway.



* We show that C4 ortholog genes in C3 plants are under control of light and chloroplast signalling, strongly implying they below to gene regulatory networks associated with photosynthesis in the ancestral C3 state, and therefore that as the C4 pathway evolves, their integration into these networks simply become strenghtened.

* We report the first regulon that acts on multiple genes expressed preferentially in mesophyll cells of C4 plants. The sequence is found in untranslated regions of CA and PPDK genes, and interestingly is found in ancestral C3 genes.


* A modified view of gluconeogenesis, a ubiquitous metabolic pathway that was defined in the 1960s. Using genetics we identify an additional component of this pathway and a route that is important for mobilisation of seed protein


* A new computational method developed by Steve Kelly applied to transcriptomes generated from distantly related species. This approach shows that independent C4 lineages have very likely recruited the same regulatory networks to generate the C4 pathway

** The first unbiased analysis of transcript populations within bundle sheath cells of C3 plants. Insight into the role of these cells and also the extent to which they have altered their role as C4 evolves.


* A meta-analysis of traits in C3-C4 intermediate species combined with novel Bayesian mathematics predict the steps associated with the phenotypic evolution of C4 photosynthesis. The Editors’ choice.

** A simple approach to extract RNA from either M or BS cells of C4 leaves. This new approach is low tech, does not require incubations that themselves induce alterations in gene expression (such as the production of protoplasts), and gives high quality RNA suitable for deep sequencing.


* Untranslated regions from multiple genes restrict expression to M cells. Surprisingly the orthologous UTRs from C3 also do.

** For C4 rice to be engineered, larger BS cells will be required. Prior to this work it was not clear whether it was possible to alter size of the BS in C3 plants.


* In collaboration with Andreas Weber’s group we report the first estimates of global divergence in gene expression between C3 and C4 leaves.

** Independent lineages of C4 plants use the same mechanism to limit gene expression to BS cells. We also found that the cis elements reponsible were present in genes of C3 species.


* Characteristics of C4 photosynthesis are found around veins of C3 A. thaliana, and defines which genes are involved as well as the function of the protein in the ancestral C3 system.


* Despite PPDK having a clear role in the C4 cycle that was first described in the 1968, its role in C3 species had never been defined. We show that it functions in nitrogen cycling during senescence in C3 plants.

** This is a system that allows chloroplasts from specific cells to be isolated.

*** Our first thoughts on why Cleome and Arabidopsis might be an interesting system to study C4 photosynthesis.

< 2005

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