The substitution and formation of red-shifted chlorophylls


Novel pigments and new directions in photosynthesis: past, now and future


Professor Min Chen

Research Location

School of Life and Environmental Sciences

Program Type



This project will investigate the molecular mechanisms of biosynthesis of red-shifted chlorophylls, which includes the biochemical steps leading to the formation of red-shifted chlorophylls (Chl d and Chl f), including the enzymes and genetic structures and the regulation of these steps. To address this problem, the integrated methods – embracing bioinformatics, genomics and biochemistry – will be developed to pinpoint the active gene(s) and enzyme(s). In the late stage of the project, we will explore the potential application of those red-shifted chlorophylls in biotechnology.

Additional Information

•    Current PhD/Hons topics being undertaken at the location or with the supervisors
Three PhD Projects are being undertaken in A/Prof Chen’s laboratory.
1.    Light-harvesting systems in Chromera velia
2.    Function of antenna systems in a newly isolated cyanobacterium containing chlorophyll f
3.    Global protein analysis of cyanobacterium Acaryochloris marina under various oxygen-stressed conditions.

•    Is the opportunity also available for Honours students?

Yes, one-year potential projects are available for honours students. Details please contact A/Prof Min Chen (

•    Techniques, methodologies, research approaches, technologies, etc., employed by the project - e.g., electron microscopy, textual analysis, etc.

Pigment and pigment-bound protein analyses are performed by using a spectrophotometer, fluorescence photometer and other molecular spectral analysis methods.
General protein isolation and characteristic methods, such as electrophoresis (SDS_PAGE, IEF, Western Blotting, Native electrophoresis, 2-D gel, peptide mass finger printing and other proteomic analysis, protein structure (electron microscope image analysis and single particle modeling).
Chromatographic anaylsis such as HPLC (high-performance liquid chromatography), FPLC (Fast protein liquid chromatography), gel filtration and ion-exchanging columns for proteins and protein-complexes purification.
DNA, RNA isolation, PCR (DNA as templates) and RT-PCR (RNA as templates), Gene transformation and functional studies in vitro.

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Photosynthesis, evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis, chlorophyll, light-harvesting complexes, phycobiliproteins, chlorophyll-binding protein complexes, proteomics of membrane-bound protein complexes, Protein structural models. Stress-response plant physiology (light, oxygen and nutrients), biosynthesis of chlorophyll and other photopigments. Acaryochloris, blue-green algae, cyanobacteria, Bioinformatics and functional genomics, hongdechloris

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 1306

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