Assembly of thylakoid membrane complexes is an elaborate interplay of multiple molecular events and is orchestrated by a vast collection of auxiliary factors. They are responsible for correct subunit folding, membrane insertion, cofactor binding (e.g. chlorophylls, cytochromes or FeS-clusters) and coordination of the assembly process in time and space.
Overview of the four major photosynthetic complexes
One focus of the group is to identify new auxiliary factors in Arabidopsis by forward and reverse genetic approaches and to understand their role in the assembly process at the molecular level. To this end, several auxiliary factors for PSII (PAM68, TerC, PAM71), the NDH complex (PAM68L) and the ATP synthase (CGL160, CGLD11/BFA3) were identified and characterised in the last years. A second focus is on the functional evolution of auxiliary factors in the thylakoid assembly process. Here, we extend our studies to model organisms like the cyanobacterium Synechocystis and the green alga Chlamydomonas.
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