How do environmental changes drive tipping point behavior and extinction events? Conversely, how do mutations and new microbial interactions reduce or prevent extinction events?
Creating bio-fuel from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii by improving its yields of biomass and triacylglycerols. Understanding how cells integrate the numerous stimuli they encounter in nature into meaningful responses requires acquisition of in-depth knowledge of their regulatory and metabolic networks. One approach to facilitating this process involves the development of predictive models that integrate data obtained from monitoring metabolic and regulatory processes. Imam's current research is focused on the use of computational and experimental approaches to study the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii with the aim of improving its yields of biomass and triacylglycerols, which can be converted in biofuel. -Saheed
Green algae biofuels represent a promising alternative to fossil fuels. Lipid accumulation in green algae can be triggered by nutrient starvation, which impairs cellular growth and compromises biomass production. At the ISB, we are developing whole-cell gene regulatory and metabolic models of the model organism Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to rationally design better strategies for lipid accumulation without affecting biomass productivity. Strategic partnership with Sapphire Energy Inc., world leaders of green crude production, facilitates the leverage of our model predictions into more efficient biofuel production outcomes in the field. -Adrian
how regulatory genetic diversity drives systems-level cellular physiology
A large portion of cellular physiology and adaptation depends upon the finely tuned molecular interactions that constitute gene regulatory networks. Genetic variability of the components that participate in these interactions is highly apparent, and is likely responsible for a significant portion of the differences in biology between closely related organisms. A complete understanding of (and ability to predict) the consequences of genetically encoded regulatory variation requires a molecular model of functional change, and a means of extrapolating its effect to changes in systems-level cellular behavior. This can be accomplished by analyzing the molecular variability of regulatory elements within the context of known large-scale regulatory networks.
Ocean acidification will cause major changes to the world's oceans, but what effect will those changes have on diatoms? Scientists working on the Ocean Acidification and Diatoms project are trying to answer that question.
How does carbon cycle in Antarctica’s Ross Sea? How will carbon cycles be effected by climate change? Those are some of the questions that Baliga Lab scientists on this project are trying to answer.
The project image is Cape Washington in Antarctica. You can see Katabatic winds blowing more than 80mph over the cliffs and the slush ice has formed on the top layer of the -1.9 C sea. Penguins use the slush ice to toboggan around (tiny black dots in distance).