Molecular Agricultural Biosciences Cluster

BioEnergy

Our research goal is to study the control of gene expression in microalgae, in order to improve the productivity of these organisms. Microalgae produce valuable molecules ranging from therapeutic proteins to biofuels. Microalgae are unique because they have the ability of photosynthesis with the high yields of microbial cultivation, making them valuable organisms for economical, industrial-scale production processes. Our current research activities involve in three areas: (i) control of gene expression in cyanobacteria (blue green algae); (ii) biodegradation of organophosphate pesticides using recombinant cyanobacteria and (iii) improvement of algal- biofuel productivity via genetic engineering.

Conservation Genetics and Ecology

Methodology has been developed for estimation of population size and study of social behavior of wild elephants in Salak Phra Wildlife Sanctuary, Kanchanaburi Province, using non-invasive sampling of microsatellite markers from DNA.Two Ph.D. students have recently developed a sufficient number of primers for hypervaiable microsatellite loci which can be used for fingerprinting elephants. These are being used for estimating the elephant population in Salak Phra WS where 500 dung samples have been collected. A marker has been found for sexing the elephants. Juvenile elephants can be indentified and approximately aged from the sizes of dung balls

Plant Sciences

The goal of our group is to achieve sustainable agriculture by improving the quality and quality of crops production through different approaches. Several specific research projects are listed below: Genome project of cassava and rubber tree .These project aim to develop markers and to construct genetic and QTL map in order to be used in marker assisted selection for plant breeding Positional cloning of gene underlying economical importance traits in cassava (proposal submitted).

Polymer Sciences

My research interests include the development of new synthetic methods and their application in synthesis of bioactive natural products, particularly in the areas of peptide chemistry and catalysis. In collaboration with Prof. JitladdaSakdapipanich, our focus is also on natural rubber research and studies of non-rubber particles to increase their potential uses and value.

Protein Structure and Function

Our Protein Structure and Proteomics (PSP) Laboratory has a long interest in research to elucidate structural conformation and functional mechanism of insect larvicidal proteins derived from Bacillus thruringiensis. We have applied spectroscopic and biophysical techniques to trace conformational transition and interaction of the mosquitocidal Cry4Ba and Cyt2Aa proteins. Mutant proteins were then designed and constructed for stability and activity enhancement.

Reproductive Medicine

The current goals of our research group are to produce frozen Brahman embryos derived from Ovum Pick-Up (OPU) and in vitro fertilization (IVF) techniques. The frozen embryos are thawed and immediately transferred into the synchronized recipients. Embryo transfer (ET) is undertaken under field conditions in the northeastern region of Thailand.

Shrimp Molecular Biology

Shrimp industry makes tremendous impact on Thailand’s export value each year. Despite its economic significance, shrimp farming has been struggling with several problems that remain to be solved. Therefore, the primary goal of our research group is to develop effective strategies that can help enhance shrimp production yield by emphasizing on disease and reproduction problems that are foremost impediment to shrimp aquaculture development. Recent studies by our group have provided strong evidence that dsRNA can mediate protection against shrimp viruses through RNA interference. Currently we are focusing on several aspects to further developing this approach that will make it more practical for protecting farmed shrimps from the virus.