Laurens J. Mets

Associate Professor
Research Summary
Current research interest: What can we do to reduce the environmental and geopolitical risks engendered by current practices in the use by humans of non-food energy to support life and society? Criteria for such a future energy system: 1) It should tap into natural energy fluxes rather than exploiting static resources. The energy fluxes must be so large that the portion needed for human uses is a very small fraction that does not disturb the natural order. Energy fluxes that generally meet this criterion: solar (and its derivatives wind, hydro); geologic (geothermal, gravitational & tidal); nuclear. 2) Energy capture and use should not require crossing geopolitical boundaries for either the energy sources or the materials required to support capture and use. 3) Given the current investment in energy transport, storage and use infrastructure, rapid conversion to reliance on only these primary energy resources requires similar end-use forms of energy and energy carriers (electric power, natural gas, liquid fuels). Relatively mature methods exist for converting solar, wind and nuclear resources to electric power. My research focuses on enabling these resources to also supply the balance of society's energy needs by producing fuels (renewable natural gas and liquid fuels) from waste carbon dioxide and market-excess (spatially or temporally stranded or otherwise curtailed) solar, wind or nuclear power.
  • Pomona College, Claremont, CA, BA Chemical Biology 06/1968
  • Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, MA, PhD Biological Chemistry 06/1972
Biosciences Graduate Program Association
  1. Christensen JR, Craig EW, Glista MJ, Mueller DM, Li Y, Sees JA, Huang S, Suarez C, Mets LJ, Kovar DR, Avasthi P. Chlamydomonas reinhardtii formin FOR1 and profilin PRF1 are optimized for acute rapid actin filament assembly. Mol Biol Cell. 2019 12 15; 30(26):3123-3135. View in: PubMed

  2. Fu Y, Luo GZ, Chen K, Deng X, Yu M, Han D, Hao Z, Liu J, Lu X, Dore LC, Weng X, Ji Q, Mets L, He C. N6-methyldeoxyadenosine marks active transcription start sites in Chlamydomonas. Cell. 2015 May 07; 161(4):879-892. View in: PubMed

  3. Topf J, Gong H, Timberg R, Mets L, Ohad I. Thylakoid membrane energization and swelling in photoinhibited Chlamydomonas cells is prevented in mutants unable to perform cyclic electron flow. Photosynth Res. 1992 Apr; 32(1):59-69. View in: PubMed

  4. Monson RK, Teeri JA, Ku MS, Gurevitch J, Mets LJ, Dudley S. Carbon-isotope discrimination by leaves of Flaveria species exhibiting different amounts of C3-and C 4-cycle co-function. Planta. 1988 May; 174(2):145-51. View in: PubMed

  5. Martin MR, Fornero JJ, Stark R, Mets L, Angenent LT. A single-culture bioprocess of Methanothermobacter thermautotrophicus to upgrade digester biogas by CO2 -to-CH4 conversion with H2. Archaea. 2013; 2013:157529. View in: PubMed

  6. Mets L. Uniparental inheritance of chloroplast DNA sequences in interspecific hybrids of Chlamydomonas. Curr Genet. 1980 Oct; 2(2):131-8. View in: PubMed

  7. Aldrich J, Cherney B, Merlin E, Williams C, Mets L. Recombination within the inverted repeat sequences of the Chlamydomonas reinhardii chloroplast genome produces two orientation isomers. Curr Genet. 1985 Mar; 9(3):233-8. View in: PubMed

  8. Strack RL, Strongin DE, Mets L, Glick BS, Keenan RJ. Chromophore formation in DsRed occurs by a branched pathway. J Am Chem Soc. 2010 Jun 23; 132(24):8496-505. View in: PubMed

  9. Hohmann-Marriott MF, Takizawa K, Eaton-Rye JJ, Mets L, Minagawa J. The redox state of the plastoquinone pool directly modulates minimum chlorophyll fluorescence yield in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. FEBS Lett. 2010 Mar 05; 584(5):1021-6. View in: PubMed

  10. Merchant SS, Prochnik SE, Vallon O, Harris EH, Karpowicz SJ, Witman GB, Terry A, Salamov A, Fritz-Laylin LK, Maréchal-Drouard L, Marshall WF, Qu LH, Nelson DR, Sanderfoot AA, Spalding MH, Kapitonov VV, Ren Q, Ferris P, Lindquist E, Shapiro H, Lucas SM, Grimwood J, Schmutz J, Cardol P, Cerutti H, Chanfreau G, Chen CL, Cognat V, Croft MT, Dent R, Dutcher S, Fernández E, Fukuzawa H, González-Ballester D, González-Halphen D, Hallmann A, Hanikenne M, Hippler M, Inwood W, Jabbari K, Kalanon M, Kuras R, Lefebvre PA, Lemaire SD, Lobanov AV, Lohr M, Manuell A, Meier I, Mets L, Mittag M, Mittelmeier T, Moroney JV, Moseley J, Napoli C, Nedelcu AM, Niyogi K, Novoselov SV, Paulsen IT, Pazour G, Purton S, Ral JP, Riaño-Pachón DM, Riekhof W, Rymarquis L, Schroda M, Stern D, Umen J, Willows R, Wilson N, Zimmer SL, Allmer J, Balk J, Bisova K, Chen CJ, Elias M, Gendler K, Hauser C, Lamb MR, Ledford H, Long JC, Minagawa J, Page MD, Pan J, Pootakham W, Roje S, Rose A, Stahlberg E, Terauchi AM, Yang P, Ball S, Bowler C, Dieckmann CL, Gladyshev VN, Green P, Jorgensen R, Mayfield S, Mueller-Roeber B, Rajamani S, Sayre RT, Brokstein P, Dubchak I, Goodstein D, Hornick L, Huang YW, Jhaveri J, Luo Y, Martínez D, Ngau WC, Otillar B, Poliakov A, Porter A, Szajkowski L, Werner G, Zhou K, Grigoriev IV, Rokhsar DS, Grossman AR. The Chlamydomonas genome reveals the evolution of key animal and plant functions. Science. 2007 Oct 12; 318(5848):245-50. View in: PubMed

  11. Erickson JM, Rahire M, Rochaix JD, Mets L. Herbicide resistance and cross-resistance: changes at three distinct sites in the herbicide-binding protein. Science. 1985 Apr 12; 228(4696):204-7. View in: PubMed

  12. Tong L, Mets L, McPeek MS. Likelihood-based inference for multi-color optical mapping. Stat Appl Genet Mol Biol. 2007; 6:Article5. View in: PubMed

  13. Mets LJ, Geist LJ. Linkage of a Known Chloroplast Gene Mutation to the Uniparental Genome of CHLAMYDOMONAS REINHARDII. Genetics. 1983 Nov; 105(3):559-79. View in: PubMed

  14. Spreitzer RJ, Mets L. An assessment of arsenate selection as a method for obtaining nonphotosynthetic mutants of chlamydomonas. Genetics. 1982 Mar; 100(3):417-25. View in: PubMed

  15. Galloway RE, Mets LJ. Atrazine, bromacil, and diuron resistance in chlamydomonas: a single non-mendelian genetic locus controls the structure of the thylakoid binding site. Plant Physiol. 1984 Mar; 74(3):469-74. View in: PubMed

  16. Galloway RE, Mets L. Non-Mendelian Inheritance of 3-(3,4-Dichlorophenyl)-1,1-dimethylurea-Resistant Thylakoid Membrane Properties in Chlamydomonas. Plant Physiol. 1982 Dec; 70(6):1673-7. View in: PubMed

  17. Spreitzer RJ, Mets L. Photosynthesis-deficient Mutants of Chlamydomonas reinhardii with Associated Light-sensitive Phenotypes. Plant Physiol. 1981 Mar; 67(3):565-9. View in: PubMed

  18. Qu X, Wu D, Mets L, Scherer NF. Nanometer-localized multiple single-molecule fluorescence microscopy. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Aug 03; 101(31):11298-303. View in: PubMed

  19. Lee JW, Mets L, Greenbau E. Improvement of photosynthetic CO2 fixation at high light intensity through reduction of chlorophyll antenna size. Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2002; 98-100:37-48. View in: PubMed

  20. Shu G, Pontieri V, Dengler NG, Mets LJ. Light induction of cell type differentiation and cell-type-specific gene expression in cotyledons of a C(4) plant, Flaveria trinervia. Plant Physiol. 1999 Nov; 121(3):731-41. View in: PubMed

  21. Quinn J, Li HH, Singer J, Morimoto B, Mets L, Kindle K, Merchant S. The plastocyanin-deficient phenotype of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii Ac-208 results from a frame-shift mutation in the nuclear gene encoding preapoplastocyanin. J Biol Chem. 1993 Apr 15; 268(11):7832-41. View in: PubMed

  22. Howe G, Mets L, Merchant S. Biosynthesis of cytochrome f in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii: analysis of the pathway in gabaculine-treated cells and in the heme attachment mutant B6. Mol Gen Genet. 1995 Jan 20; 246(2):156-65. View in: PubMed

  23. DiMagno L, Chan CK, Jia Y, Lang MJ, Newman JR, Mets L, Fleming GR, Haselkorn R. Energy transfer and trapping in photosystem I reaction centers from cyanobacteria. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1995 Mar 28; 92(7):2715-9. View in: PubMed

  24. Dron M, Rahire M, Rochaix JD, Mets L. First DNA sequence of a chloroplast mutation: a missense alteration in the ribulosebisphosphate carboxylase large subunit gene. Plasmid. 1983 May; 9(3):321-4. View in: PubMed

  25. Patton GW, Mets L, Villee CA. Malic dehydrogenase isozymes: distribution in developing nucleate and anucleate halves of sea urchin eggs. Science. 1967 Apr 21; 156(3773):400-1. View in: PubMed

  26. Mets LJ, Bogorad L. Mendelian and uniparental alterations in erythromycin binding by plastid ribosomes. Science. 1971 Nov 12; 174(4010):707-9. View in: PubMed

  27. Mets LJ, Bogorad L. Two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis: an improved method for ribosomal proteins. Anal Biochem. 1974 Jan; 57(1):200-10. View in: PubMed

  28. Bogorad L, Mets LJ, Mullinix KP, Smith HJ, Strain GC. Possibilities for intracellular integration: The ribonucleic acid polymerases of chloroplasts and nuclei, and genes specifying chloroplast ribosomal proteins. Biochem Soc Symp. 1973; (38):17-41. View in: PubMed

  29. Mets L, Bogorad L. Altered chlorplast ribosomal proteins associated with erythromycin-resistant mutants in two genetic systems of Chlamydomonas reinhardi. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1972 Dec; 69(12):3779-83. View in: PubMed

  30. Hanson MR, Davidson JN, Mets LJ, Bogorad L. Characterization of chloroplast and cytoplasmic ribosomal proteins of Chlamydomonas reinhardi by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. Mol Gen Genet. 1974; 132(2):105-18. View in: PubMed

  31. Gulotty RJ, Mets L, Alberte RS, Fleming GR. Picosecond fluorescence study of photosynthetic mutants of Chlamydomonas reinhardii: origin of the fluorescence decay kinetics of chloroplasts. Photochem Photobiol. 1985 Apr; 41(4):487-96. View in: PubMed

  32. Owens TG, Webb SP, Mets L, Alberte RS, Fleming GR. Antenna size dependence of fluorescence decay in the core antenna of photosystem I: estimates of charge separation and energy transfer rates. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1987 Mar; 84(6):1532-6. View in: PubMed

  33. Owens TG, Webb SP, Alberte RS, Mets L, Fleming GR. Antenna structure and excitation dynamics in photosystem I. I. Studies of detergent-isolated photosystem I preparations using time-resolved fluorescence analysis. Biophys J. 1988 May; 53(5):733-45. View in: PubMed

  34. Owens TG, Webb SP, Mets L, Alberte RS, Fleming GR. Antenna structure and excitation dynamics in photosystem I. II. Studies with mutants of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii lacking photosystem II. Biophys J. 1989 Jul; 56(1):95-106. View in: PubMed

  35. Erickson JM, Pfister K, Rahire M, Togasaki RK, Mets L, Rochaix JD. Molecular and biophysical analysis of herbicide-resistant mutants of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii: structure-function relationship of the photosystem II D1 polypeptide. Plant Cell. 1989 Mar; 1(3):361-71. View in: PubMed

  36. Martineau B, Smith HJ, Dean C, Dunsmuir P, Bedbrook J, Mets LJ. Expression of a C3 plant Rubisco SSU gene in regenerated C4 Flaveria plants. Plant Mol Biol. 1989 Oct; 13(4):419-26. View in: PubMed

  37. Shochat S, Adir N, Gal A, Inoue Y, Mets L, Ohad I. Photoinactivation of photosystem II and degradation of the D 1 protein are reduced in a cytochrome b6/f-less mutant of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Z Naturforsch C J Biosci. 1990 May; 45(5):395-401. View in: PubMed

  38. Werst M, Jia Y, Mets L, Fleming GR. Energy transfer and trapping in the photosystem I core antenna. A temperature study. Biophys J. 1992 Apr; 61(4):868-78. View in: PubMed