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Regulation of photosynthesis by ion fluxes in a rapidly changing environment

Project financed by VR 2017–2020

In natural habitats, plants constantly experience rapid changes in the intensity of sunlight. To cope with these changes and maximize growth, plants adjust photosynthetic light utilization in electron transport and photoprotective mechanisms. This involves a proton motive force across the thylakoid membrane, postulated to be affected by ion fluxes (H , K , Cl, Mg2 ). In addition, fluxes of ions and water are thought to be involved in osmoregulation, affecting the dynamics of thylakoid membrane ultrastructure. The identity of the genes involved in K and Cl ion fluxes has been recently unraveled, whereas no thylakoid water channel has been found thus far. In the ongoing work we aim to understand how ion and water fluxes operate in regulation of photosynthesis and thylakoid dynamics in a rapidly changing environment. In addition, we aim to identify the algal counterparts of the genes involved in ion fluxes. We use Arabidopsis thaliana and Chlamydomonas reinhardtii as model organisms to study the phenotype of single and higher-order loss-of-function mutants using chlorophyll fluorescence, electron microscopy and molecular biology methoda. Our findings will allow unravelling novel mechanisms of photosynthetic regulation at molecular and physiological levels, which are important for light acclimation in crop fields and biofuel production.

Our strategy in functional characterization of putative thylakoid solute transporters.

Current picture of characterized thylakoid ion channels and transporters.

E.M. Aro (University of Turku), I. Szabo (University of Padova), D.M. Kramer (Washington State University).

Page Manager: Sven Toresson|Last update: 5/28/2018

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