Plant Synthetic Biology

Novel genetic tools are needed to create plants with designer form & function, and manipulate species outside tractable models (Arabidopsis, Nicotiana). We are engineering plant regulatory & metabolic circuitry to rewire the physiology of food & bioenergy-relevant crops, improve their agricultural yields & climate-resiliency, and expand synthetic biology access to non-model plants from diverse ecosystems.

Plant Microbiome Engineering

Plant microbiomes critically control plant nutrient access and health. However, sculpting microbiome assembly & functioning remains an major biotechnology challenge. We are using bottom-up metabolic engineering strategies to understand plant-microbe and microbe-microbe interactions. This allows us to develop design rules for crop microbiomes and engineer beneficial symbioses.

Soil Carbon Synthetic Biology

Plants and their microbiomes control global carbon cycling and are key to sustainable soil carbon storage. By engineering natural/synthetic metabolic pathways in plants and soil microbes, we are understanding the mechanistics of plant-microbe carbon exchange and developing scalable technologies for biological carbon sequestration.