Dr Francesco Licausi
Oxygen sensing, Plant Development, Evolution, Synthetic Biology
Molecular oxygen is essential for aerobic organisms, including plants. However, oxygen availability is not constant but rather fluctuates, due to variations in metabolic needs and the environment. We study the mechanisms that allow plant cells to sense oxygen levels and initiate signalling cascades towards developmental trajectories and metabolic adjustments. We also use synthetic biology approaches to exploit oxygen sensing mechanisms across kingdoms and investigate the evolution of aerobic metabolism, multicellularity and oxygen homeostasis.