Professor W. Paul Quick. Paul leads a C4 rice team at IRRI and is Professor of Plant Physiology at the University of Sheffield in the UK. His research focuses on plant photosynthesis and the partitioning of photosynthate into food end-products. He took over as project lead for Phase I when John Sheehy retired, led Phase II, and was a consortium member in Phase III.
Professor Rowan Sage. Rowan is Professor of Plant Biology in the Ecology and Evolution Department at Toronto. His research addresses physiological mechanisms governing photosynthetic responses to CO2 and temperature, and the ecophysiology of C4 plant evolution. He is noted for identifying the number of independent origins of C4 photosynthesis. His lab is currently identifying new intermediate species of C4 evolution to better understand how the C4 pathway evolved. Rowan was a scientific advisor for Phases I & II and an associate member in Phase III.
Professor Tammy Sage. Tammy is an Associate Professor of Plant Biology in the Ecology and Evolution Department at Toronto. Her research focuses on elucidating the cellular and developmental events associated with the evolution of C4 photosynthesis, and the developmental physiology of the unique aspects of the rice leaf. In this work, she combines high resolution imaging with transcriptomics, immunohistochemistry, and bioinformatics. Her work aims to understand the functional significance of plant structure in an evolutionary context. Tammy was a consortium member during Phases II & III.
Professor Andreas Weber. Andreas is Professor of Plant Biochemistry at Heinrich Heine University. His research interests include function and evolution of C4 photosynthesis and photorespiration; cellular compartmentation of metabolic networks in plants; endosymbiosis and the evolution of plastids; and algal functional genomics and biology of the Cyanidiales. His longstanding interest in metabolite transport underpinned his C4 rice research, which focused on the identification and characterization of transporter proteins. Andreas was a consortium member during Phase III.
Professor Peter Westhoff. Peter is Professor of Plant Developmental and Molecular Biology at Heinrich Heine University. His group is presently working on the discovery of cis-regulatory elements involved in mesophyll and bundle sheath specific gene expression in C4 species. The group is also identifying genes required for bundle sheath cell differentiation in Arabidopsis, aiming to use this information to alter the rice bundle sheath. Peter was a consortium member throughout Phases I-III and remains an associate member in Phase IV.
Professor Xinguang Zhu. Xinguang is Group Leader at the CAS-Shanghai Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology. His research focuses on photosynthesis systems biology, in particular on developing and applying systems models of photosynthesis to identify new options to manipulate photosynthetic systems for enhanced efficiency. In the C4 rice project, Xinguang’s team focused on developing systems models of C4 photosynthesis to prioritize engineering options towards C4 rice. He was a consortium member during Phases II and III.