A basic property of plants is their ability to carry out photosynthesis and thus to provide the organic carbon which forms the basis for almost all life on Earth.
The photochemical reactions of photosynthesis takes place in the thylakoids of the chloroplasts and are mediated by two photosystems: PSI and PSII.
Our group collaborates closely with the groups of Yumiko Sakuragi and Mathias Pribil under the common theme ‘Photosynthesis and bioengineering’.
Light-driven reactions – Poul Erik Jensen
We are interested in understanding the function of PSI and PSII and in particular how light, pigments, metals and proteins interact to convert solar radiation into chemical energy. We perform basic research to gain knowledge about the role and function of proteins, pigments and metals. Our knowledge is being used in bioengineering approaches using synthetic biology.
Metals like manganese, iron and copper are involved in electron transfer and are represented in both PSI and PSII but also in monooxygenases like cytochrome P450s and lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (LPMOs). Monooxygenases are enzymes with a huge potential in biotechnology and we have shown that these can be driven by light-dependent electron transfer without the need for dedicated reductases.
- Primary metabolism – Tom Hamborg Nielsen
Primary carbon metabolism is critical to growth and development of plants, and to the yield of major products such as starch and sucrose. The main topic of our research is assimilation, flux and storage of carbon and phosphate, and the overall aim to identify and characterize key elements of regulatory mechanisms and enzyme reactions which determine the flux of carbon - in plants. The perspective is to modify metabolism for better productivity.
Current research projects
- Plant Power
- Harnessing the Energy of the Sun for Biomass Conversion
- Targeting plant specific pathways by mass spectrometry based proteomics
- Light-driven biosynthesis: Improving photosynthesis by designing and exploring novel electron transfer pathways
- Co-translational insertion of co-factors into photosystems
Are you interested in doing a project, you can read more about your options in the project database
Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences have various bachelor and master programs.
News from Molecular Plant Biology