Centre Algatech

Institute of Michrobiology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic

EU HORIZON 2020 - ERC Synergy Grant - project "PhotoRedesign"


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Project Description


2020 - 2025


Prof. Dr. Dario Leister (coordinator)
- Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich
Prof. Dr. Josef Komenda - Czech Academy of Sciences, Třeboň
Prof. Dr. C. Neil Hunter - University of Sheffield


2 498 861

The photochemical light reactions in oxygenic photosynthesis are performed by two large protein complexes termed photosystem I (PSI) and photosystem II (PSII) that absorb photons and use their energy to generate a proton gradient and reducing power used to fix CO2. Various phototrophic organisms evolved diverse light-harvesting systems (antennas) to collect and transfer photon energy to the reaction centers of the photosystems. The overall efficiency of the light reactions (in terms of the fraction of incident solar energy converted into chemical energy) is only about 15% under field conditions, and only a fraction of this is then converted into biomass during CO2 fixation. Because their fundamental enhancement is not feasible by conventional approaches, there is an urgent need to develop novel concepts to redesign their light harvesting and photochemical capacity. The overall objective of the project is designing light reactions that can harvest and safely convert energy from an expanded solar spectrum by synthetic biology and adaptive laboratory evolution, combining photosystems from different organisms, and including de novo-designed antennas in reimagined photosystems.. More about the project here