Maxim Kapralov

Maxim completed his PhD in Biology (specialisation: plant ecology) in 2004 at the  Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology, Ural Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, Ekaterinburg in Russia and prior to that, a Masters in Science in Biology (specialisation: plant physiology) Ural Federal University, Ekaterinburg, also in Russia, in 2000.

Performing computational analysis of the genes encoding major CO2 fixing enzyme, Rubisco, Maxim then uses the results of this analysis to design amino acid replacements that favourably change Rubisco kinetics in selected crop species. He replaces native Rubisco forms with designed ones via chloroplast transformation in planta to test his computational predictions and to evaluate their effect on Rubisco kinetics and plant growth. Maxim works in the Whitney Lab, Program 1, (Improving leaf CO2 capture efficiency).

RESEARCH INTERESTS

  • Biotechnology & Global food security • Enzyme bioengineering for increased crop yield.
  • Computational biology and molecular evolution • Evolutionary genetics of adaptation.
  • Plant phylogenetics & evolution • Speciation, species boundaries and gene flows.
  • Impact of environmental factors on mutation rates • Climate and biological evolution.

RESEARCH METHODS

Biochemical & computational analyses, bioinformatics, chloroplast transformation, DNA & RNA sequencing, enzyme assays,  phylogenetics & phylogeny based statistics.