Sayre Team Active Research Programs

Realization of Algae Potential (REAP) 

Richard Sayre, NMC Affiliate Scientist, LANL Staff Scientist
Sathish Rajamani, NMC Associate Research Scientist
 
This project seeks to develop an integrated process for producing at least 3500 gallons of bio-fuel intermediate per acre of cultivated algae per year. This outcome will advance the DOE goal of demonstration 5,000 gallons per acre per year by 2022.
 

Photosynthetic Antenna Research Center 

Richard Sayre, NMC Affiliate Scientist, LANL Staff Scientist
Sangeeta Negi, NMC Associate Research Scientist
 
This NMC team investigates the quantum yields of photosynthesis, energetics of energy conversion and biomass accumulation in algae. The NMC performs this research as a member and contributor to the Photosynthetic Antenna Research Center.
 

National Alliance for Advanced Biofuel and Bioproducts - an Algal Consortium (NAABB)

Richard Sayre, NMC Affiliate Scientist, LANL Staff Scientist
Sathish Rajamani, NMC Associate Research Scientist
 
NMC’s researchers look at the physiological characterization of probiotic bacteria that enhance algal growth.  They are also researching the selection of algae that are resistant to anti‐microbial peptides and survey of the effects of Damin acids on algal contaminant diversity and population densities. NMC performs this research as part of the National Alliance for Advanced Biofuel and Bioproducts
 

BioCassava II: Nutrient Dense Cassava Products for Improved African Livelihoods

Richard Sayre, NMC Affiliate Scientist, LANL Staff Scientist
Tawanda Zidenga, NMC Associate Research Scientist
 

This research program seeks to improve the nutritional status of sub-Saharan Africans by developing viable cassava cultivars with enhances qualities of bio-available zinc, iron, protein, vitamins A and E, and reduced quantities of toxic cyanogenic glycosides. NMC performs this research as part of the Gates Foundation BioCassava Project.

Center for Advanced Biofuels Systems

Richard Sayre, NMC Affiliate Scientist, LANL Staff Scientist
Tawanda Zidenga, NMC Associate Research Scientist
Sowmya Subramanian, NMC Associate Research Scientist
 

This project develops transgenic organisms that have improved photosynthetic efficiencies by engineering enzymes with enhanced catalytic efficiency and by altering the regulation of carbon reduction pathways. NMC researchers also assess the energy efficiency (thermodynamics) of biomass and biofuel production by monitoring photosynthetic efficiency and energy partitioning into biomass by FTIR spectroscopy and micro-calorimetry using whole cells and cell fractions. NMC performs this research as a member and contributor to the Center for Advanced Biofuels Systems.

Supplement to Genome Annotation and Transcriptomics of Oil-Producing Algae

Richard Sayre, NMC Affiliate Scientist, LANL Staff Scientist
 
This program investigates transgenic algae that have altered expression of genes identified as being critical for biomass and oil accumulation.  Researchers perform biochemical analysis using comparative transcriptomics and proteomics studies of facultatively-induced oil producing algae.
 

Engineering C3 plants with Carbon Concentrating Mechanisms for Enhanced Photosynthesis

Richard Sayre, NMC Affiliate Scientist, LANL Staff Scientist
Tawanda Zidenga, NMC Associate Research Scientist
Sowmya Subramanian, NMC Associate Research Scientist
 

In this project, researchers engineer Arabidopsis thaliana, a C3 plant, to concentrate CO2 near the active site of RuBisCO in order to favor carboxylation activity and improve photosynthetic efficiency.

Enhancing Biofuels from Genetically-Engineered Camelina

Richard Sayre, NMC Affiliate Scientist, LANL Staff Scientist
Natalia Friedland, NMC Associate Research Scientist
 

The goal of this project is to increase the harvestable energy yield of Camelina oil from the current level of 91 GJ/Ha/yr to over 160 GJ/Ha/yr and improve the composition of the oil to provide a more stable and energy dense biofuel feedstock. The program seeks to achieve this through a combination of improved cultivars, enhanced yield, and increased oil production. The overall goal of the project is to develop Camelina as a high energy- yielding source of biofuel.   NMC participates in this program as part of The Center for Enhanced Camelina Oil (CECO).

Other Active Research Programs

 

Developing an Infrastructure and Product Test Pipeline to Deliver Novel Therapies for Citrus Greening Disease 

Rajan Gupta, NMC Affiliate Researcher, LANL Staff Scientist 

U.S. Citrus growers have a critical need for grove-deployable management practices that keep healthy citrus from becoming infected and infected trees from becoming symptomatic. This project presents a systems-based pipeline approach delivering commercial, grove-deployable solutions using a novel therapeutic delivery strategy and citrus transgenics. A data integration and analysis platform combining existing complex –omics/biological data with molecular/cellular research will steer hypothesis driven screening of inhibitors of multiple molecular pathways to provide solutions that can be optimized by combinatorial delivery to citrus. Research areas will include: 1) molecular interaction inhibitor discovery (gut membrane binding peptides, RNA aptamers and non-toxic chemical library screening) to block psyllid acquisition/transmission of the HLB-bacterium and/or bacterial growth in the plant; 2) dsRNA delivery to induce psyllid RNAi responses that block bacterium transmission or kill the psyllid (or both) and; 3) optimization of a novel therapeutic delivery system that has negligible environmental impact, is economical in comparison to current control strategies and is highly adaptable for different solution strategies. This research is funded by USDA NIFA via Kansas State.

 

 

 

 

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