Sanja RojeDr. Sanja Roje has been awarded a grant by the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences of the National Science Foundation titled “Investigating the Role of Cytosolic One-carbon Metabolism in Photorespiration”. This project will explore the intersection between photorespiration and one carbon metabolism, two plant biochemical pathways that are of critical importance to plant growth and human nutrition. Photorespiration is a plant process that recycles toxic intermediates produced as a byproduct of photosynthesis and is an essential process needed by the plant to grow. Rates of photorespiration are linked to growing temperature and carbon dioxide concentration, meaning that future rates of photorespiration will change with changing climates. One carbon metabolism is similarly vital to plant growth, and also is the source for essential vitamins like folate. The goal of this project is to help generate models predicting how current and future climatic conditions influence plant performance and yields, and inform breeding and engineering approaches to optimize plant productivity and the production of plant compounds important for human nutrition and health. This project, to be done in collaboration with Dr. Berkley Walker from Michigan State University, brings in over $1.45 million over three years.