Dr Francesco Licausi

Research Interests

Oxygen sensing, Plant Development, Evolution, Synthetic Biology

Molecular oxygen is essential for aerobic organisms, including plants. However, oxygen availability is not constant but rather fluctuates, due to variations in metabolic needs and the environment. We study the mechanisms that allow plant cells to sense oxygen levels and initiate signalling cascades towards developmental trajectories and metabolic adjustments. We also use synthetic biology approaches to exploit oxygen sensing mechanisms across kingdoms and investigate the evolution of aerobic metabolism, multicellularity and oxygen homeostasis.

  • Structures of Arabidopsis thaliana oxygen-sensing plant cysteine oxidases 4 and 5 enable targeted manipulation of their activity.

  • Synthetic biology of hypoxia.

  • Molecular oxygen as a signaling component in plant development.

  • Similar and Yet Different: Oxygen Sensing in Animals and Plants.

  • The Contribution of Plant Dioxygenases to Hypoxia Signaling.

  • Editorial: Crop Response to Waterlogging

  • ERF-VII transcription factors induce ethanol fermentation in response to amino acid biosynthesis-inhibiting herbicides.

  • The Ha-ROXL gene is required for initiation of axillary and floral meristems in sunflower

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Graduate Students
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