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Bala Sonawane

The overall aim of Bala’s study is to improve our understanding of C4 photosynthesis in order to enhance productivity of C3 and C4 crops. The specific objective is to elucidate the environmental regulation of the CCM in C4 grasses belonging to different subtypes.

Bala’s PhD project focusses in investigating how light and temperature impact the efficiency and plasticity of the CCM in C4 grasses by combining leaf gas exchange-TDL measurements with in vitro enzyme activity of the main carboxylases and decarboxylases operating in C4 grasses belonging to three biochemical subtypes.

His research outcomes will provide fundamental knowledge of key regulatory mechanisms operating in the various subtypes of C4 photosynthesis, which will help improve the parametrisation of the C4 photosynthesis model and inform the bioengineering of C4 photosynthetic traits into key C3 crops such as rice and wheat.

Bala holds a M.Sc. (Agricultural Biotechnology) from the Marathwada Agricultural University, Parbhani (M.S.), India (2009) (First class with distinction)

He has been awarded an ARC- Discovery Postgraduate Research Award,2013-2016 and a n Indian Council of Agricultural Research – Senior Research Fellow-2012.

He has expertise on :

  • Physiology: Photosynthetic gas exchange measurements, tunable diode laser absorption spectrometry
  • Biochemistry: Enzyme activity assay, western blotting, PAGE
  • Plant tissue culture: Micro-propagation, callus culture, cell suspension culture
  • Data analysis using R