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Architectural study of photosynthetic complexes

09 January 2009

PhD veremony: S. Kereiche, 14.45 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

Thesis: Architectural study of photosynthetic complexes

Promotor(s): prof. E.J. Boekema

Faculty: Mathematics and Natural Sciences


Water, inorganic matter, and solar energy are the only components that a photosynthetic organism needs to perform one of the most important biochemical reactions, which is Photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is a process by which the absorbed light gives the sufficient energy to a reaction center to split a water molecule, release oxygen, assimilate carbon dioxide and produce chemically fixed energy. The Earth that we know is mainly shaped due to this fundamental reaction performed by cyanobacteria. On the larger scale, there are photosystems, where the charge separation takes place. On the small scale, there are large numbers of pigment molecules bound to the photosystems and their antenna complexes, which are involved in light absorption. There are two types of Photosystems, Photosystem I (PSI) and Photosystem II (PSII), which are embedded in the thylakoid membrane and are working in series. The goal of this thesis is to provide a structural characterization of PSI and PSII complexes and their associations with light harvesting complexes, Lhca and LHCb proteins respectively. This information is helpful for a better understanding of protein-protein interactions within the complex. The characterization of these supercomplexes can also give us information about subunits as their location. Several organisms like cyanobacteria, red algae and higher plants were studied using a combination of biochemical and electron microscopy techniques, including single particle averaging. Obtained results describe novel supercomplex architectures and their higher organization within the thylakoid membrane.


Last modified:15 September 2017 3.38 p.m.

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