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Seeing in the New Light: Photoreceptor Expression System for Cyanobacteria

Objective

Cyanobacteria, the green microbial factories, are able to produce important biochemicals such as biofuel and bioplastics that offer a timely solution to many of the environmental challenges of our time, such as pollution and fuel security. The stability of the process and production yield, however, are dependent on the optimum synthesis of the enzymes involved in their metabolic processes.

The goal of this research is to create a cyanobacterial expression tool that responds to red light based on a phytochrome photoreceptor. This tool will enable precise and highly tunable control of cyanobacterial gene expression with two wavelengths of red light. While the study is expected to show the potential of photoswitches for controlling biological processes, it will likely disclose distinct obstacles in the search for an ideal cyanobacterial expression system.

The project will start with the construction of expression plasmids and their application to the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. The light responses of the resulting expression strains will then be tested by illumination experiments, where the increased expression of the reporter (green fluorescent protein) will be detected with fluorescence spectroscopy.

The proposed 24-month project will take place at the University of Jyvaskyla (Finland) under the supervision of Dr. Heikki Takala. The project also includes a two-month secondment training session at the laboratory of Prof. Andreas Möglich at the University of Bayreuth (Germany). This project is designed to combine the skills of the researcher in cyanobacterial studies and the expertise of the supervisor in phytochrome biology. Overall, the planned activity is methodically structured to nurture new abilities while addressing knowledge gaps. The project will provide the applicant with academic excellence, leading to higher prospects for a tenured academic position in Europe.

Coordinator

JYVASKYLAN YLIOPISTO
Net EU contribution
€ 215 534,40
Address
Seminaarinkatu 15
40100 Jyvaskyla
Finland

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Region
Manner-Suomi Länsi-Suomi Keski-Suomi
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
No data

Partners (1)

UNIVERSITAT BAYREUTH
Germany
Net EU contribution
No data
Address
Universitatsstrasse 30
95447 Bayreuth

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Region
Bayern Oberfranken Bayreuth, Kreisfreie Stadt
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
No data