15 PhD positions are offered by the Innovative Training Network “Solar Energy to Biomass – Opimisation of light energy conversion in plants and microalgae” or short “SE2B”. SE2B is a multi-site Initial Training & Research Program of research institutions from the public and private sector in eight European countries. The aim is to
1. understand the regulation mechanisms important for light use efficiency, and their evolution from algae to land plants, structure/function studies of the key proteins in non-photochemical quenching (NPQ), PsbS and LhcSR, and of the role of xanthophylls in specific LHC antenna proteins in plants and algae will be crucial. This includes the elucidation of the molecular basis for long-term quenching in evergreen trees over winter. Together with the development of an automated phenotyping system these results will be used to exploit the effect of xanthophyll over-accumulation on light harvesting versus photoprotection for biomass production in algae.
2. elucidate the supercomplex dynamics during regulation phenomena in plants and microalgae to understand (i) how light-harvesting systems together with photosystems are organized in the lipid bilayer environment during NPQ and/or state-transition (ST), (ii) how the polarity of the membrane, determined by the lipid composition and the phosphorylation of the thylakoid proteins, affects the light absorption properties and the structural and functional dynamics of the supercomplexes, and (iii) how these dynamics affect the entire organism at the gene expression level.
3. to investigate the role of thylakoid membrane flexibility in light use efficiency by characterising the functional and structural reorganization of thylakoid membranes during NPQ and ST in vivo, and by comparing these effects in cyanobacteria, green algae and diatoms, to determine the extent to which NPQ and ST make use of the same underlying physical mechanisms in different organisms.
PhD students participate in an exciting research programme and receive a strongly interdisciplinary training in all scientific areas involved as well as in complementary skills. The program also includes extended stays in partner laboratories (secondments).
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 675006.
For details and to apply see: www.uni-frankfurt.de/se2b.
Individual Research Projects available:
1. Structural and functional analysis LhcSR and PsbS proteins regulating photosynthetic light use efficiency.
PhD position, group of Roberto Bassi, Universita degli Studi di Verona, Italy.
2. Changes in energy fluxes during NPQ in LHCII and PS II-LHCII complexes.
PhD position, group of Alexander Ruban, Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom.
3. The role of certain proteins in quenching mechanisms in evergreens.
PhD position, group of Stefan Jansson, Umeå Universitet, Sweden.
4. Systems for non-invasive monitoring of plant fitness and growth performance.
PhD position, group of Klára Panzarová, Photon Systems Instruments Spol SRO, Czech Republic.
5. Using algal mutants for enhanced carotenoid production.
PhD position, group of Claudia Büchel, Goethe Universität Frankfurt am Main, Germany
6. Changes in supercomplex formation related to functional changes (NPQ and ST).
PhD position, group of Roberta Croce, Stichting Free University Amsterdam, Netherlands Closed
7. Dynamics of thylakoid pigment-protein complexes – consequences on functional genomics of the entire organism.
PhD position, group of Eva-Mari Aro, University of Turku, Finland.
8. Dynamics of supercomplexes in the thylakoid membrane of diatoms.
PhD position, group of Claudia Büchel, Goethe Universität Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
9. Mechanisms involving the antenna that regulate the energy flux to reaction centers in cyanobacteria.
PhD Postdoc position, group of Diana Kirilovsky, French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, France.
10. Molecular structure of supercomplexes under different conditions.
PhD position, group of Egbert Boekema, Groningen Universiity, Netherlands in coorperation with group of Roman Kouřil, Palacký University Olomouc, Czech Republic.
11. Photosynthetic Membranes: from molecular to membrane organisation.
PhD position, group of Bruno Robert, French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, France.
12. Regulation of the photosynthetic membrane landscape in cyanobacteria.
PhD position, group of Conrad Mullineaux, Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom.
13. Changes at the membrane level during NPQ and state transitions.
PhD position, group of Herbert van Amerongen, Wageningen University, Netherlands.
14. Improvement of secondary metabolites production in cyanobacteria under external stress.
PhD position, group of Céline Bourcier de Carbon, Phycosource SARL, France.
15. Quantifying photosynthesis in intact photosynthetic algae and cyanobacteria.
PhD position, group of Jan Dekker/Ivo van Stokkum, Stichting Free University Amsterdam, Netherlands.