School of Biological Sciences

Gerald Edwards

Name: Gerald Edwards
Field of Study: Climate/Photosynthesis
Title: Regents Professor
Degrees: Ph.D., Plant Science, University of California at Riverside
Office: 301 Heald
Phone: 509-335-2539
Fax: 509-335-3184
Mailing Address: School of Biological Sciences
Washington State University
PO Box 644236
Pullman WA 99164-4236

Research Interests

I work on photosynthesis, including effects of environmental stress and potential global climate change, with studies ranging from the cellular to the whole plant level. Research on the mechanism and evolution of carbon assimilation includes studies on C4, C3 and CAM plants. Recent research on C4 photosynthesis has been focused on diversity in structure, function and evolution. One project involves studies in the family Chenopodiaceae that includes collections of species from Central Asian Deserts that are adapted to high temperature, drought, and salinity. Opportunities exist to characterize the structural, functional, and evolutionary relationships among species and their adaptation to different environments. Most recently, my colleagues and I have shown from studies on chenopods that C4 photosynthesis, surprisingly, can occur in a single photosynthetic cell (i.e. without the Kranz anatomy which was previously thought to be required). 

I am a member of a consortium of scientists, sponsored by the International Rice Research Institute, The Phillipines, whose goal is exploring potential for genetic engineering of rice, a C3 crop, to perform C4 photosynthesis. There are opportunities for students to participate in meetings (e.g. American Society of Plant Biologists, Annual Photosynthesis Conference in Monterey, CA, and International Photosynthesis Congress).



- Listed on Institute for Scientific Information List of 108 Most Cited Researchers in Plant and Animal Science. 

- Received Charles F. Kettering Award, for excellence in the field of Photosynthesis, from the American Society of Plant Biologists.


- Presented with Sahlin Award for Excellence in Research, Teaching and Arts, by Washington State University. 

- Presented Washington State University's 69th Annual Distinguished Faculty Address, "Living by Photosynthesis."


- Received WSU College of Sciences Distinguished Faculty Award.


- Promoted to rank of Regents Professor.

Representative Publications

Furbank RT, S von Caemmerer, J Sheehy, G Edwards. 2009. C4 rice: A challenge for plant phenomics. Functional Plant Biology 36: 845-856.

Park, J-H, M. Knoblauch, TW Okita and GE Edwards. 2009. Structural changes in the vacuole and cytoskeleton are key to development of the two cytoplasmic domains supporting single-cell C4 photosynthesis in Bienertia sinuspersici .  Planta. 229:369-382.  

Park, J-H, TW Okita and GE Edwards. 2009. Salt tolerant mechanisms in single-cell C4 species Bienertia sinuspersici and Suaeda aralocaspica (Chenopodiaceae). Plant Science 176: 616-626.  

Nagai, Y, C Sakulsingharoj, GE Edwards, T Greene, H Sato, B Blakeslee, T Okita. 2009. Control of starch synthesis in cereals: metabolite anlysis of transgenic rice expressing upregulated cytoplasmic ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase in developing seeds.  Plant Cell Physiology. 50: 635-643.  

Maricle, BR, NK Koteyeva, EV Voznesenskaya, JR Thomasson, GE Edwards. 2009. Diversity in leaf anatomy, and stomatal distribution and conductance among ecotypes in the C4 genus Spartina (Poaceae).New Phytologist. 184: 216-233.  

Smith, ME, NK Koteyeva, EV Voznesenskaya, TW Okita, GE Edwards. 2009. Photosynthetic features of non-Kranz type versus Kranz type C4 and C3 species species in subfamily Suaedoideae (Chenopodiaceae). Functional Plant Biology. 36: 770-782.

Kiirats, O, JA Cruz, GE Edwards and DM Kramer. 2009. Feedback limitation of photosynthesis at high CO2 acts by modulating the activity of the chloroplast ATP synthase. Functional Plant Biology 36:893-901.

Akhani, H, MV Lara, M Ghasemkhani, H Ziegler and GE Edwards. 2009. Does Bienertia cycloptera with the single-cell system of C4 photosynthesis exhibit a seasonal pattern of d13C values in nature similar to co-existing C4 Chenopodiaceae having the dual-cell (Kranz) system? Photosynthesis Research. 99:23-36.

Edwards, GE and EV Voznesenskaya. C4 photosynthesis: Kranz Forms and Single-Cell C4 in Terrestrial Plants. Chapter in Advances in Photosynthesis Research, Photosynthesis and Related CO2 Concentrating Mechanisms.  A. Raghavendra and R. Sage, eds.  Kluwer, The Netherlands. In Press.

Voznesenskaya, EV, H Akhani, NK Koteyeva, SDX Chuong, EH Roalson, O Kiirats, VR Franceschi and GE Edwards. 2008. Structural, biochemical and physiological characterization of photosynthesis in C3 and C4 species of the genus Tecticornia (family Chenopodiaceae) and a phylogenetic placement of the photosynthetic types. Journal of Experimental Botany Special Issue on CAM and C4 photosynthesis 59: 1715-1734.  

Lara, MV, S. Offermann, M. Smith, TW Okita, CS Andreo and GE Edwards.  2008. Leaf development in the single-cell C4 system in Bienertia sinuspersici : Expression of genes and peptide levels for C4 metabolism in relation to chlorenchyma structure under different light conditions.  Plant Physiol. 148:593-610.

Voznesenskaya EV, N Koteyeva, SDX Chuong, A Ivanova, J Barroca and GE Edwards 2007. Physiological, anatomical and biochemical characterization of photosynthetic types in genus Cleome (Cleomaceae). Special Issue in Memory of Vincent R. Franceschi. Functional Plant Biol. 34: 247-267.

Boyd, CN, VR Franceschi, SDX Chuong, H Akhani, O Kiirats, M Smith and GE Edwards 2007. Flowers of Bienertia cycloptera and Suaeda aralocaspica (Chenopodiaceae) complete the life cycle performing single-cell C4 photosynthesis. Special Issue in Memory of Vincent R. Franceschi. Functional Plant Biol. 34: 268-281.

Edwards, GE, E Voznesenskaya, M Smith, N Koteyeva, Y Park, J-H Park, O Kiirats, TW Okita and SDX Chuong. 2007. Breaking the Kranz paradigm in terrestrial C4 plants: Does it hold promise for C4 rice? In: Proceedings of the 2006 meeting of the C4 Rice Consortium (Sheehy JE, Mitchell PL and Hardy B, editors). International Rice Research Institute, Makati City, Philippines. pp. 249-273.

Chuong, SDX, VR Franceschi and GE Edwards. 2006. Two unique patterns of organelle partitioning required for C4 photosynthesis in a single cell are maintained by the cytoskeleton in family Chenopodiaceae. The Plant Cell. 18: 2207-2223.

Lara, MV, SDX Chuong, H Akhani, CS Andreo and GE Edwards, 2006. Species having C4 single cell type photosynthesis in family Chenopodiaceae evolved a photosynthetic phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase like that of C4 Kranz type species. Plant Physiology. 142: 673-684.

Voznesenskaya, EV, VR Franceschi, SDX Chuong and GE Edwards. 2006. Functional characterization of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase type C4 leaf anatomy: Immuno, cytochemical and ultrastructural analyses. Annals of Botany 98: 77-91.

Akhani H, J Barroca, N Koteyeva, E Voznesenskaya, V Franceschi, G Edwards, SM Ghaffari, W Stichler and H Ziegler. 2005. Bienertia sinuspersici (Chenopodiaceae): a new species from SW Asia and discovery of a third terrestrial C4 plant without Kranz anatomy. Systematic Botany 30: 290-301.

Edwards GE, VR Franceschi, EV Voznesenskaya. 2004. Single-cell C4 photosynthesis versus the dual-cell (Kranz) paradigm. Annual Review of Plant Biology. 55: 173-196.

Voznesenskaya EV, VR Franceschi, O Kiirats, EG Artyusheva, H Freitag, GE Edwards. 2002. Proof of C4 photosynthesis without Kranz anatomy in Bienertia cycloptera (Chenopodiaceae). The Plant Journal. 31: 649-662 (article highlighted on cover page of issue).

Voznesenskaya E, V Franceschi, O Kiirats, H Freitag and GE Edwards. 2001. Kranz anatomy is not essential for terrestrial C4 plant photosynthesis. Nature 414: 543-546.

Edwards GE, RT Furbank, MD Hatch and CB Osmond. 2001. What does it take to be C4? Lessons from the evolution of C4 photosynthesis. In: 75th Anniversary Issue on Conceptual Breakthroughs in Plant Biology. Plant Physiol. 125: 46-49.

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