Role of nanodomains in compartmentalisation of electron transport functions in plant photosynthetic membranes.

Lead Research Organisation: University of Sheffield
Department Name: Molecular Biology and Biotechnology

Abstract

Life on earth depends on photosynthesis, the source of all of our food, oxygen and most of our energy. The early steps of photosynthesis involve trapping of solar energy by electron transfer (ET) reactions in the photosynthetic membrane. Recent advances have shown using atomic force microscopy and fluorescence excitation spectroscopy have revealed an unexpected compartmentalization of ET components in the photosynthetic membrane within specific nanodomains, 50-100 nm in size. Compartmentalization was suggested to improve ET efficiency by closely grouping cognate components, thereby facilitating rapid ET in the severely protein crowded membrane, while separating components of competing pathways. However, due to their extreme fragility such ET nanodomains have proved resistant to purification. This project will make use of the latest advances in in vivo crosslinking and mass spectrometry to characterise the structural components of ET nanodmomains and determine their exact ET function. The PhD would offer the candidate a board interdisciplinary training in modern biochemistry purification techniques, mass spectrometry and fluorescence and absorption spectroscopy with the opportunity to interact with biologists, physicists and chemical engineers during the course of their project.

Publications

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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M011151/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2023
1800811 Studentship BB/M011151/1 01/10/2016 31/03/2021 Sarah Flannery