Professor Julian Hibberd Julian is Professor of Photosynthesis at the University of Cambridge. His work has focused on identifying the ancestral role of C4 proteins in C3 plants and alterations to the regulation of genes encoding these proteins. Currently, his laboratory works on both dicot and monocot lineages that contain C3 and C4 species, and combines the use of synthetic biology, high throughput sequencing analysis and bioinformatics. Experiments are informed by phylogenetic reconstructions, and the long term aim is to better understand evolution of the complex C4 phenotype.
Dr Lei Hua Lei is currently a postdoc in the Hibberd lab. He did his PhD in Prof. Chuanqing Sun’s lab at China Agricultural University where he identified and characterized a domestication gene controlling long and barbed awns in wild rice (Oryza rufipogon), the progenitor of cultivated rice (Oryza sativa). In the Hibberd lab, Lei is investigating transcriptomes and translatomes of rice mesophyll and bundle sheath cells using Laser Capture Microdissection (LCM).
Dr Caijin Chen Caijin got her PhD in plant molecular genetics in 2021 in University of Aberdeen, UK, where she worked on genome-wide association mapping of salt tolerance and arsenic accumulation in rice. Caijin joined the Hibberd Lab as the postdoc in September 2021, she is working to increase chloroplast content of rice bundle sheath cells to resemble more closely the bundle sheath of C4 leaves.
Kumari Billakurthi Kumari received her PhD degree from Heinrich Heine University, Germany. Her thesis was focused on identifying new genetic regulators of Kranz anatomy development. She had performed forward genetic screens i.e. activation tagging and EMS mutagenesis in Arabidopsis thaliana. Moreover, she has done a comparative transcriptome analysis of C3 and C4 Flaveria species along the leaf developmental gradient. In Hibberd’s group, her work is focused on investigating the development of rice bundle sheath cells.