Bioscience and Biotechnology Institute of Aix-Marseille
Energies | Renewable energies | Bioenergy | Biofuel | Biohydrogen | Microalgae | Photosynthesis
Photosynthesis is a highly regulated biological process converting solar energy and atmospheric carbon dioxide into biomass. Our research aims at understanding regulatory mechanisms of photosynthesis towards a domestication of this process for an optimized production of biomass or energy-rich compounds (hydrogen, starch, lipids…). Researches are mainly performed on the model microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.
Forward genetic approaches based on high-throughput mutant screening are developed to identify mutants affected in novel regulatory mechanisms of photosynthesis. Different screening procuderes based on chlorophyll fluorescence measurements or on the ability to store reserve compounds have been set-up in the laboratory. Phenotypical mutant analysis based on multidisciplinary approaches are performed to determine the physiological function of genes of interest.
Some microalgal species such as Chlamydomonas reinhardtii have the property to produce hydrogen in the light thanks to a hydrogenase enzyme interacting with the photosynthetic electron transport chain. In nature, hydrogen photo-production is a transient mechanism used to evacuate the excess of reducing power. Our researches aim at understanding electron transfer pathways of hydrogen photo-production, their regulations and limitations, towards developing biotechnological applications.
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.