To carry out their activities, Research Teams of the Frédéric Joliot Institute for Life Sciences have developed high-profile technological platforms in many areas : biomedical imaging, structural biology, metabolomics, High-Throughput screening, level 3 microbiological safety laboratory...
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Laboratory | Microalgae | Photosynthesis | 3rd generation biofuel | Biofuel
Regulatory mechanisms in photosynthetic organisms
The research project "Cellular redox state" (Pierre Sétif) is focused on the study of cyanobacteria. Cyanobacterial physiology and growth depend on the cellular redox state which also plays a key regulator role.
ManagerPierre SétifWe are studying the mechanisms involved in the modulation and regulation of this redox state, which mostly depends on photosynthetic and respiratory electron and proton flows. These processes are characterized in different species and many mutants and this knowledge is the basis for present and future developments of third generation biofuels.
The simultaneous presence of photosynthetic and respiratory complexes in the internal membranes of cyanobacteria is a challenging issue, as several modes of electron transfer (photosynthetic linear and cyclic, respiratory) are coexisting and strongly interacting. The two primary metabolites ATP and NADPH which are produced from these processes, are regulated in their relative amounts so as to adjust the ATP/NADPH ratio to cellular needs. Moreover, the defence mechanisms against ROS, which are inevitably produced during photosynthetic and respiratory electron flows, are studied in parallel.
Several spectroscopic probes provide real-time information on the in vivo electron flows. We are using these probes to determine the cellular redox state and to measure the rates of some essential reactions, in various physiological conditions (light intensity and wavelength, redox stress, nutrient deficiencies, inhibitors, etc...) and in many strains and mutants.
The same approaches are being extended to the study of eucaryotic microalgae and some essential electron transfer reactions are also studied in vitro with isolated proteins.
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.