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Organization of cellular photosystems
Date:4/9/2014

A new DFG Research Unit funded will study the biogenesis of the complex membrane systems in which the light reactions of photosynthesis take place.

Professor Jrg Nickelsen of the Biocenter at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich will act as the official Speaker for the new Research Unit devoted to "Biogenesis of Thylakoid Membranes: Spatiotemporal Organization of Photosynthetic Protein Complex Assembly" and funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). The venture has been approved by the DFG and will receive funding amounting to nearly 2 million euros. The interdisciplinary and multicenter network brings LMU scientists together with colleagues based in Bayreuth, Berlin, Bochum, Kaiserslautern and Potsdam to analyze the assembly of thylakoids. Thylakoids are membrane systems present in certain bacteria and in higher plants, which harbor the photosynthetic apparatus that converts solar radiation into chemical energy. "The new Research Unit represents a unique combination of expertise in molecular genetics, biochemistry, biophysics and structural analysis, allowing us to adopt a systematic approach to the analysis of the molecular details of the photosynthetic process," Nickelsen explains.

A complex interplay of multiple factors

By utilizing sunlight for the production of molecular oxygen and energy-rich organic compounds, photosynthesis provides the essential basis for all life on earth. Solar energy is captured by photoreactive molecules located in the thylakoids, and converted into a biochemically useful form in the so-called light reactions. Thylakoids are specialized membrane systems found in some bacterial species and in the chloroplasts of plant cells, and they are the most complicated type of biological energy-producing membranes known. Although their structure and function have been extensively investigated, little is known about how they are actually put together.

The assembly of thylakoids requires a c
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Contact: Luise Dirscherl
dirscherl@lmu.de
49-892-080-2706
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitt Mnchen
Source:Eurekalert

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