C4 Rice Consortium


  IRRI recognized that success in this venture would require the expertise of a diverse range of scientists and it formed a consortium for C4 rice. The remit of the consortium is to contribute to the development of C4 rice, under the leadership of IRRI, by providing appropriate levels of expertise and, where suitable, personnel and resources. Each consortium member brings a particular expertise and is located in a well-established laboratory in a leading academic institution.
         In the C4 Consortium, various approaches are already being taken to the problem of identifying the genetic factors controlling the C4 syndrome. A U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF)–funded collaborative project between Yale and Cornell universities is using laser micro-dissection technologies to capture specific cell types in sorghum, maize, and rice leaves for further analysis of proteins and gene transcripts. A quantitative inventory of these molecules in each cell type will provide information regarding the regulation of gene expression and will explain how sorghum, maize, and rice plants differ in photosynthesis and in other cellular functions. We intend to integrate information from the NSF and this project using bioinformatics and systems modeling. At Washington State University and the University of Toronto, extensive research is being conducted on the structural and biochemical diversity among the 19 families of plants found to have C4 species, and on the progressive evolution from C3 to C3-C4 intermediates, and to C4 photosynthesis. Julian Hibberd (Cambridge) and Peter Westhoff (Dusseldorf) have been developing molecular tools to enable cell-specific genes to be introduced into rice via transformation. Click title tabs to view images.


Principal Investigators  
·         An, Gynheung    Kyung Hee University , Republic of Korea
·         Brutnell, Thomas    Danforth Institute, USA
·         Burnell, James    James Cook University, Australia
·         Cousins, Asaph Washington State University, USA
·         Edwards, Gerry Washington State University, USA
·         Furbank, Robert ARC Centre of Excellence for Translational Photosynthesis / CSIRO , Australia
·         Hibberd, Julian University of Cambridge, UK
·         Hsing, Caroline Academia Sinica, Taiwan
·         Kelly, Steven University of Oxford, UK
·         Langdale , Jane University of Oxford, UK
·         Leegood, Richard University of Sheffield, UK
·         Murchie, Erik University of Nottingham, UK
·         Myers, Chris Cornell University, USA
·         Quick, William Paul International Rice Research Institute, Philippines
·         Sage, Rowan University of Toronto, Canada
·         Sage, Tammy University of Toronto, Canada
·         Sheehy, John International Rice Research Institute, Philippines
·         von Caemmerer, Susanne The Australian National University, Canberra Australia
·         Voytas, Dan University of Minnesota, USA
·         Westhoff, Peter Heinrich Heine University, Dusseldorf, Germany
·         Yu, Su May National Taiwan University, Taiwan
·         Zhu, Xinguang PICB, Shanghai China





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