Centre Algatech

Institute of Michrobiology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic

Laboratory of Photosynthesis 

Josef Komenda`s group

Biogenesis of Photosystem II

Ondřej Prášil`s group

Ecophysiology of algae

Roman Sobotka`s group

Photosynthetic pigments

Radek Kana`s group

Membranes heterogeneity in photosynthesis

Jan Janouškovec´s group

Algal evolution and ecology

Laboratory of Photosynthesis

Laboratory of photosynthesis does fundamental research in microbial photosynthesis and also applies it to constructing photosynthetic measuring devices. The important characteristic of the laboratory is its multidisciplinary approach, which combines biophysics, molecular biology, evolutionary biology, biochemistry, physiology and classical microbiology. Topics in five principal, overlapping areas are studied by individual groups, each led by a single senior scientist:

Assembly and quality control of photosynthetic membrane complexes - Josef Komenda

Mostly using a model cyanobacterium Synechocystis PCC 6803 it deals with mechanisms and regulation of the assembly of membrane pigment-protein complexes and their quality control. It focuses on the role of structural subunits and auxiliary protein factors in the process of Photosystem II assembly and on the elucidation of structure and function of homologues of the bacterial proteases FtsH in the degradation of structural as well as regulatory proteins participating in the biogenesis of photosynthetic apparatus..

Ecophysiology of algae - Ondřej Prášil

It analyzes molecular mechanisms of photosynthesis in various photothrops (cyanobacteria, algae) on different level of complexity - from ecophysiology studies with whole population (physiological and spectroscopical measurements in open oceans) to a single protein level (biophysical measurements with single cell, with proteins). It is interested in processes regulating photosynthesis, namely in mechanism of non-photochemical quenching, role of diazotrophy in cyanobacteria, mechanism of proteins mobility in thylakoid membrane and allocation of photosynthetic carbon into metabolic processes.

Biosynthesis and function of photosynthetic pigments - Roman Sobotka

It deals with the study of chlorophyll biosynthesis pathway, which is rather complicated and partially overlap with the pathway for synthesis other important cofactors like heme and phycobilins. The aim of the work is to elucidate mechanisms of regulation of chlorophyll biosynthesis and to identify pathways by which the chlorophyll is built in membrane pigment-protein complexes and by which is removed from them during their degradation.

Dynamics of Photosynthetic Membranes - Radek Kaňa

It studies mobility and photoprotection of photosynthetic proteins. We use single-cell microscopic methods (FRAP, FCS) to resolve process of proteins diffusion and reorganization in thylakoid. We also study mechanism of photosynthetic energy conversion in light-harvesting antennae, how it is optimized by non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) or during state transitions.

Algal evolution and ecology - Jan Janouškovec

We study how different groups of algae gained or lost photosynthesis, how endosymbiosis works, and what evolutionary innovations drive algal success in natural environments. Our work involves single-celled and multicellular algae, but also cyanobacteria and algae-derived parasites. We use genomics, microscopy and molecular cell biology with the general aim to understand their diversity, evolution and significance to humans.


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