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Department of Plant Sciences

Studies in concentration

Nick and Chandra get talked about

Nothing new there, you might think. But two papers published recently by Nick Owen and Chandra Bellasio, postgrads in the Physiological Ecology Group, have both attracted editorial commentaries in their respective journals. Annie Borland and Xiaohan Yang (New Phytologist (2013) 200: 946–949) describe Nick's model of Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) as "the system dynamics model by Owen & Griffiths provides a foundation onto which molecular and signaling components can be added in a heuristic integrative manner", and also used for predicting bioenergy yields in crops such as Agave and Opuntia. For that other carbon concentrating mechanism, the C4 pathway, interpretation of Chandra's data on acclimation to light limitation between Mesophyll and the Bundle Sheath cells attracted analogies about revealing secrets as if hidden by Christmas wrapping paper by Rowan Sage (Plant Cell & Environment  doi:10.1111/pce.12246). Ah well, excellent festive cheer to both from their supervisor, and mind how they unwrap his gifts of a prickly pear and green giant corn- not the Tequila or corn syrup product they might be hoping for!

(written by Howard Griffiths)