Ru Zhang

Honorary Adjunct Professor
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    • Danforth Center
    • 975 N. Warson Rd.
    • St. Louis, MO 63132
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    The Zhang laboratory at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center employs algal genomics and plant spectroscopy to study how photosynthetic organisms respond to high temperatures.

    Affiliation: Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

    Global warming increases the frequency with which photosynthetic organisms are exposed to damaging high temperatures. Heat stress impairs plant growth and reduces crop yield. To engineer crops with higher thermo-tolerance, it is imperative to understand how photosynthetic cells sense and respond to high temperatures. 

    Photosynthesis uses sunlight energy to make food, and it is essential for agricultural production. However, photosynthesis is one of the most heat sensitive processes in plants.  To meet the increasing global food demand for the future, we need to increase agricultural yield by engineering more robust and more efficient photosynthesis that can adapt to high temperatures. To achieve this goal, it is crucial to understand how photosynthesis responds to high temperatures and what factors limit its adaptation.