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Acclimation of Photosynthesis

Combining theoretical, experimental and computational approaches we are studying how activity of intrinsic mechanisms associated with short-term fluctuations of light affect photosynthetic efficiency of plants, green algae and diatoms. In the process of photosynthesis organisms are able to absorb Sun light and in a serie of reactions convert it into sugars. Those highly energetic molecules are then stored in different forms in photosynthetic organisms and can be used for various purposes, for instance as a source of energy in the form of biofuels. We know that the both availability and quality of light influence the photosynthetic efficiency and any imbalance in the redox state of the photosynthetic chain may cause severe damage to the organism. Therefore photosynthetic organisms developed set of mechanisms that help to dynamically react to external stimuli, protect against high light exposure and maintain their balance. Based on our current understanding of the photosynthetic reactions we are developing dynamical models of the process that start with the absorption of light and ends up with the synthesis of ATP. We provide a theoretical framework to test existing hypotheses on the mechanisms of high energy dependent non-photochemical quenching, state transitions and short-term 'light memory'.

Key words:

  • kinetic models
  • photosynthesis
  • non-photochemical quenching
  • redox state
  • state transitions
  • short-term acclimation


Contact: Anna Matuszyńska, Oliver Ebenhöh

Key publications

  1. Matuszyńska, A., & Ebenhöh, O. (2015). A reductionist approach to model photosynthetic self-regulation in eukaryotes in response to light. Biochemical Society Transactions, 43(6), 1133-1139.
  2. Ebenhöh, O., Fucile, G., Finazzi, G., Rochaix, J. D., & Goldschmidt-Clermont, M. (2014). Short-term acclimation of the photosynthetic electron transfer chain to changing light: a mathematical model. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 369(1640), 20130223.
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