Control of sugar allocation to improve crop yield or biomass for food security and biofuel production.
Ongoing research in plant biology is essential for growing a sustainable bio-based economy, which encapsulates our vision of a future society with improved global food security and no longer wholly dependent on fossil fuels for energy and industrial raw materials. In plants, photosynthetic products are primarily generated in mature leaves. A better understanding of photoassimilates allocation could help to improve crop yields of food, fiber, wood and fuel for a sustainable bio-based economy. Despite decades of research on carbon allocation, especially sugar translocation from source leaves to sinks, such as root, fruit and seeds, the regulatory network that controls and coordinates allocation is largely elusive. My core interest is to unravel these regulatory networks as a basis for engineering and optimizing assimilates allocation using a combination of in vivo biochemistry, cell biology, molecular genetics, systems and synthetic biology.