Study of Photosynthesis Helps Next-Generation Biotechnologies

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Next-Generation Biotechnologies

Researchers at the University Of Queensland (UQ) and the University of Munster (WWU) have purified the Cyclic Electron Flow (CEF) supercomplex. A critical part of the photosynthetic machinery in all plants, in a discovery that could help guide the development of next-generation biotechnologies.

Due to findings, made in collaboration with an international team of scientist from the Universities of Basel, Okayama and New South Wales. These findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences that provide new visions into photosynthesis at the molecular levels.

Professor Ben Hankamer, working at UQ’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience and director of the Centre for Solar Biotechnology said, the technologies based on the photosynthetic microalgae have potential to play an important role in meeting these needs as the demand for fuel, food, and clean water will increase substantially. The microalgae-based biotechnologies based on solar power can be easier to understand how organisms capture and store solar energy at the molecular level.

The CEF supercomplex is a good example of an evolutionarily highly conserved structure. The work is central to the efforts of the Centre for Solar next-generation Biotechnologies in the development of next-generation solar biotechnologies and industries, said Prof. Hankamer explained.

The center has expanded their existence into 30 teams from Asia, Europe, the US, and Australia. These teams are working to develop the next generation of solar driven biotechnologies based on the green algae. This information will help to design of next-generation solar capture technologies for the production of products, fuel, food, and clean water. This process extracts carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and its utilization and storage.

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