Sunlight influences every kind of life on earth. That is true for complex organisms, like human beings, as well as for the tiniest single-celled organisms.
Light is the basic resource of life, not just for highly-developed plants but also for green algae and diatoms. "Algae use light not only for the generation of energy", knows Prof. Dr. Maria Mittag from the Friedrich Schiller University Jena. "It also controls their movements and serves to adjust their biological clock", says the professor for general botany.
The different effects of the light spectrum on algae are communicated by specific proteins. Which proteins these are and how they interact is to be thoroughly investigated by Prof. Mittag and her team from all over Germany. The German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)) supports the new research group "Specific Light-Driven Reactions in Unicellular Model Algae" currently for the next 3 years. The project is coordinated by Prof. Mittag.
One of the most important problems to be dealt with is the light regulation of the photosynthesis of the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum. "Hardly anything is known about it, although diatoms are responsible for approximately one fifth of the world's photosynthesis process", claims Prof. Mittag.
Apart from diatoms, the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is in the focus of the researchers' attention. "We want to clarify how the biological clock of these algae works", Prof. Mittag points out. Chlamydomonas reinhardtii has a well-developed day-and-night rhythm: During the day they tend to swim towards a light source with the help of their two flagellums. But during the night they seem to be unimpressed by light. For the perception of light green algae use a so-called eyespot - a primitive visual system. The Jena team around Prof. Mittag aims at finding out which proteins are involved in the process of light perception, which proteins control the day-and-night rhythm, and how they work.
On the whole, the new research group consists of seven projects at seven Universities. "Our group works interdisciplinarily", says coordinator Mittag. Apart from the Jena botanists, further molecular biologists, physiologists and biophysicists from the Universities of Frankfurt, Bielefeld, Konstanz, Würzburg, Leipzig and Berlin (Humboldt University) are integrated into the research group. Not only molecular-biological and biochemical methods are applied. Especially biophysical methods serve to characterize algae proteins. Since all genetic information have been known for both types of algae, modern high throughput technologies, i.e. for proteome research, can be used as well.
Dr. Ute Schönfelder | idw
Further reports about: > Chlamydomonas reinhardtii > DFG > Phaeodactylum tricornutum > Sunlight influences > Unicellular Model Algae > biological clock > diatoms > green algae > light-driven processes in algae > molecular biologist > molecular-biological and biochemical methods > photosynthesis process > single-celled organism > single-celled organisms > two flagellums
Reptile vocalization is surprisingly flexible
30.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Ornithologie
New photocatalyst speeds up the conversion of carbon dioxide into chemical resources
29.05.2017 | DGIST (Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology)
The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.
The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
30.05.2017 | Life Sciences
30.05.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
29.05.2017 | Earth Sciences