Photobiology, Photosynthesis, Photocatalysis

Sunlight powers all life processes on Earth - it warms our planet and provides energy for photosynthesis and oxygen production, enabling the evolution and life of complex organisms. Light is perceived and harvested by biological systems and used by specialized enzymes to catalyse diverse chemical reactions. In modern times, these natural systems provide a valuable inspiration for the development of artificial photosynthesis.

Overview

Our research focuses on photobiology, photochemistry and bioenergetics. We are interested in the molecular mechanisms of biological and bio-inspired systems that are activated by light including:

  • Photosynthesis in cyanobacteria, microalgae and plants
  • Photoenzymes and photoactive proteins
  • Bio-inspired photocatalysts

The team is studying molecular systems ranging from inorganic catalysts, via isolated light-activated proteins to natural photosynthesis in integrated systems such as whole cyanobacteria, microalgae and plants. We are using an interdisciplinary approach combining chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, biophysics and photonics.

Highlights

The plastid terminal oxidase (PTOX), a protein regulating photosynthetic electron transport, changes its localization inside the chloroplast depending on the proton motive force as seen by confocal microscopy in thaliana overexpressing GFP-TOX (Bolte et al. (2020) J. Exp. Bot. 71:2661-2669)

Photoenzyme Fatty Acid Photodecarboxylase (FAP) recently discovered in microalgae is involved in light-driven generation of hydrocarbons from fatty acids, a process that bears great promise for the production of biofuels and the generation of high-value chemicals. The reaction mechanism has been elucidated in great detail using a combination of biochemical, time-resolved spectroscopic and crystallographic methods and theoretical approaches. (Sorigué et al. (2021) Science, 372: eabd5687)

Our model systems

Synthetic bioinorganic catalysts, natural and bioengineered photoactive proteins,

photoenzymes, isolated photosystems, chloroplasts, cyanobacteria, microalgae and plants

Bio-inspired photocatalyst

DNA photolyase

Cyanobacteria Synechocystis spp 6803

Arabidopsis thaliana

Topics

Photosystem II

Molecular photocatalyst

Fatty Acid Photodecarboxylase

team

Winfried LEIBL

Group Leader

Research Director

Anja KRIEGER-LISZKAY

Group Leader

Research Director

Sandra ANDRIANAMBININTSOA

Engineer

Klaus BRETTEL

Researcher

Sandrine COT

Technician

Diana KIRILOVSKY

Researcher

Thanh-Lan LAI

Researcher

Pavel MÜLLER

Researcher

Annamaria QUARANTA

Researcher

Pierre SÉTIF

Researcher

Corinne RIVASSEAU

Researcher

Adjélé WILSON

Researcher

Non-permanent staff

Alexis DREUX

PhD student

Lucas LEVERNE

PhD student

Lucie LUDVÍKOVÁ

Postdoc

Antoine MAGINIER

Master 2

Nil GAUDU

Master 1

Marine MESSANT

PhD student

(co-direction with B. Robert, A. Gall)

Poutoum-Palakiyem SAMIRE

PhD student

(co-direction; primary affiliation BIAM/CEA Grenoble)

Latest publications

For all the publications of the Team click on the button below.

External funding

Scroll to Top