Super resolution imaging of the algal pyrenoid

Lead Research Organisation: University of York
Department Name: Biology

Abstract

The pyrenoid is an enigmatic organelle found in the chloroplasts of
microalgae that is responsible for approximately 30% of global CO2
fixation. The engineering of a pyrenoid into crop plants has the potential
to boost photosynthesis and yields by up to 60%, however we still have
gaps in our knowledge of the structure and function of the pyrenoid.
The Mackinder and Leake Labs at the University of York are looking to
recruit a highly motivated and dedicated student to undertake a PhD that
will combine cutting edge molecular biology with super-resolution
microscopy to give us an unprecedented understanding of the structure
and function of the Chlamydomonas reinhardtii pyrenoid. The successful
PhD candidate will:
1) Build a super-resolution picture of the C. reinhardtii pyrenoid.
You will use millisecond super-resolution 'Slimfield' microscopy
established in the Leake Lab (Reyes-Lamothe et al., 2010 Science;
Badrinarayanan et al., 2012 Science) on yellow fluorescent proteins that
localise to the pyrenoid.
2) Explore the molecular crowding of different pyrenoid regions.
You will further explore liquid-like properties of the pyrenoid (Freeman
Rosenzweig et al., 2017 Cell) using a FRET based molecular crowding
sensor (Boersma et al., 2015 Nature methods) to monitor pyrenoid
protein crowding during liquid-liquid phase separation.
3) Characterise protein-protein interactions of core pyrenoid
components. To gain a detailed insight into pyrenoid protein function
you will take recently identified protein-protein interactions (Mackinder et
al., 2017 Cell) and explore their dynamics using FRET pairs in response
to CO2 availability.

Publications

10 25 50

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M011151/1 30/09/2015 29/09/2023
2279752 Studentship BB/M011151/1 30/09/2019 29/09/2023 James Barrett