George Bowes

George Bowes, BSc, PhD, CBiol, FIBiol

Professor Emeritus

Discipline Specialization

Research Interests / Major Research Achievements
My Photosynthesis Research Laboratory investigates photosynthesis and photorespiration, predominantly the regulation of carbon assimilation. The research has facets which range from the molecular and biochemical to ecophysiological, and agricultural concerns. Areas I am actively involved with include: global climate changes; CO2 concentrating mechanisms in photoautotrophs; the biochemistry, hysiology and molecular biology of novel C4 photosynthetic systems; regulation of the primary carboxylase enzymes in plants; and the ecophysiology of aquatic plants, including the management of weed species.

My earlier discoveries with WL Ogren that Rubisco is inhibited by O2, and acts as an oxygenase in photorespiration, and that PEPC is not inhibited by O2, opened up a new avenue of research in photosynthesis. They gave a biochemical basis for the major difference between C3 and C4 plants. In the 1980s my laboratory reported on the first C4 photosynthetic system that uniquely operates without Kranz anatomy. In the 1990s we discovered the most primitive C4-type system described to date, in a marine macroalga. Since 1980 we have been investigating the potential effects of global climate change, including elevated [CO2] and temperatures, on plants, especially crop species. I have written several major reviews on this topic.

Present Research
Regulation and kinetics of ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase-oxygenase. CO2 concentrating mechanisms in aquatic plants and algae. Regulation of inducible C4-like photosynthetic systems. Effects of rising atmospheric CO2 on photosynthesis and growth. Ecophysiology of aquatic plants, especially weed species.

Courses Taught

  • BOT 6576 Photophysiology of Plant Growth (graduate)
  • BOT 5646 Ecology and Physiology of Aquatic Plants (graduate)
  • BOT 3503 Introductory Plant Physiology (undergraduate)
  • BSC 2010 Integrated Principles of Biology I (900 undergraduate majors)

Contact Information

Physiology & Biochemistry
3157 McCarty Hall A
(352) 392-7919
Bowes Lab Web Site