Julius’ current research focuses on energetics of C4 photosynthesis, investigating how different C4 grass species use and transform light energy from the sun. This involves examination of the activity and components of photosynthetic reaction centres in the differentiated chloroplasts of mesophyll and bundle sheath of C4 grasses. The study will also link the activity of the reaction centres to the activity of different decarboxylating enzymes and Rubisco.
Outcomes of his research will explain the varying energy requirements and geographic distributions of the three C4 subtypes namely NAD-ME, NADP-ME and PEPCK. This will also help us understand the relationship between Rubisco plasticity and O2 composition in bundle sheath cells where Rubisco is located, improving the catalytic efficiency of Rubisco from C4 plants and eventually crop yield by increasing the efficiency of the plant’s CO2 intake from the environment.
Julius’ areas of expertise include gene cloning, plant tissue culture, protein and nucleic acid extraction, Western Blotting, enzyme assays, use of photosynthesis measuring equipments (PAM, Spectroradiometer, Oxygen electrode system, LICOR, etc.) and data analysis using R.
Julius holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology (2008), from the University of the Philippines in Los Baños and a Master of Science in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (2012) from the University of the Philippines, Los Baños.
He was awarded an ARC Centre of Excellence in Translational Photosynthesis Research Scholarship (International) at Western Sydney University.