Super-resolution video rate imaging of photosynthetic membrane dynamics in plants and algae

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


Remarkable images of the internal workings of plant chloroplasts and algae
provided by structured illumination microscopy suggest a major role for
photosynthetic membrane morphological changes in the adaptation to changing
light intensity. Our study of this largely unexplored phenomenon has revealed
rapid dynamics that help the plant match the conversion of light to chemical
energy with its consumption for CO 2 fixation into biomass. Now we have the
ability to image these dynamics in real time at super-resolution for the first time
using a breakthrough microscopy technology. The super-resolution
programmable array microscope (SR-PAM), can adapt during imaging to
optimise signal to noise and resolution. The adaptability of the system means
that we can push super-resolution further in to deep samples. Utilising this
exciting new microscopy technique we will investigate how the thylakoid
membrane dynamics regulate photosynthesis. The results of this study have the
potential to provide an unexpected route to improving photosynthesis for
enhanced crop and biofuel production.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M011151/1 30/09/2015 29/09/2023
2282818 Studentship BB/M011151/1 30/09/2019 29/09/2023 Federica Pastorelli