Don Ort| | University of Illinois, USDA/ARS
Research Lead and Associate Director Don Ort is the Robert Emerson Professor in Plant Biology and Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois. He is the Editor- in- Chief of Plant Physiology and serves on several boards for other journals. Don is also the director for SoyFACE, a project that aims at understanding how crop growth will change in the Midwest under climate change conditions. Don earned his BS in Biology from Wake Forest University and his Ph.D. in Plant Biochemistry from Michigan State University His work has appeared in Science and multiple other publications. Don’s research explores the underlying causes and molecular basis for inhibition of photosynthesis by low temperature exposure and drought as well as the response of plants to increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide and surface ozone levels. His current research emphasis on photosynthetic energy transduction centers on the regulation of photosynthetic ATPsynthase enzyme complexes. Regulation of the catalytic activity of the ATPsynthase involves both an energetic component as well as redox modulation. The approach includes flash kinetic spectroscopy to monitor enzyme activation in intact leaves, rapid mixing to determine the order of events in activation and deactivation of the enzyme complex, and the selection and analysis of ATPsynthase activation mutants of Arabidopsis.