Agronomy and Horticulture, Department of


First Advisor

James C. Schnable

Date of this Version



A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Major: Agronomy and Horticulture, Under the Supervision of Professor James C. Schnable.

Copyright (c) 2019 Daniel Santana de Carvalho


The C4 photosynthetic pathway was first described over 50 years ago. Today, it is known that C4 evolved independently > 60 in plant lineages, which involves understanding not only the genetic, but also the metabolic features and differences involved in this process. Also, several adaptations are involved in the evolution of this type of photosynthesis, for example: changes in leaf anatomy and the evolution of kranz anatomy, physiology and metabolic pathways. In order to further investigate this pathway, different technologies and methods have been developed to unravel genes involved in C4 photosynthesis. With the advances in molecular biology and bioinformatics tools new approaches have been applied to increase the knowledge of different features of C4 photosynthesis, such as: gene duplications, neofunctionalization, gene regulation and metabolic reactions. One of the biggest areas of interest concerning C4 photosynthesis is improving crop yield by engineering the C4 pathway into C3 crops, such as rice and wheat. Here I present different approaches that can be used to study C4 photosynthesis from both phenomics and genomics perspectives.

Adviser: James C. Schnable