Biology ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 4-13-2022


Through photosynthesis microalgae can convert sunlight, water, and CO2 into chemical energy that can be used to generate carbon neutral biofuels and biomass. With an ever-increasing demand and need for petroleum substitutes it is imperative that we improve the output of industrial-relevant crops such as microalgae. One important way of improving output in algae is by understanding the roles that stress and energy conversion is regulated in these organisms. Photosynthetic organisms fundamentally depend on light- and sugar-driven metabolic and signaling networks, which integrate environmental cues to govern and sustain growth and survival. SnRKs (SNF1-related protein kinases) and the photoreceptor neochrome are regulators of energy and stress metabolism, and coordinate energy balance and nutrient metabolism in plants. This work set to elucidate the role that these two sensors play in generating algal biomass. Further, we identified SnRKs in thirty-four algal species and analyzed their SNRK domain motifs and phylogenetic relationships. To determine the importance of the sensors in algal evolution.



Document Type


Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

UNM Biology Department

First Committee Member (Chair)

David Hanson

Second Committee Member

Donald Natvig

Third Committee Member

Sangeeta Negi

Fourth Committee Member

Matthew Posewitz