Latest Thylakoid Stories

2013-09-30 14:10:50

The outer membrane of bacteria contains many proteins that form tiny pores. They are important for absorbing nutrients and transmitting signals into the cell. The research group of Sebastian Hiller, Professor of Structural Biology at the Biozentrum, University of Basel, has now shown for the first time at atomic resolution, that these pore proteins are transported in an unstructured, constantly changing state to the outer bacterial membrane. This landmark study was recently published in the...

2013-07-10 15:19:39

Photosynthesis takes place in specialized membrane systems, made up of stacked disks linked together by unstacked planar leaflets. An LMU team has now identified a protein that tucks the membrane in at the edge of each stack. By making use of sunlight to generate molecular oxygen and other energy-rich chemical compounds that other organisms can utilize as nutrients, photosynthesis provides the basis for almost all life on Earth. Radiant energy from the Sun is captured by pigment-protein...

Harvesting Electricity Directly From Plants
2013-05-09 11:27:25

University of Georgia The sun provides the most abundant source of energy on the planet. However, only a tiny fraction of the solar radiation on Earth is converted into useful energy. To help solve this problem, researchers at the University of Georgia looked to nature for inspiration, and they are now developing a new technology that makes it possible to use plants to generate electricity. "Clean energy is the need of the century," said Ramaraja Ramasamy, assistant professor in the...

2011-10-19 12:55:53

RUB biologists publish new model for protein transport in plant cells How the light-harvesting complexes required for photosynthesis get to their site of action in the plant cell is reported by RUB biologists in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. The team led by Prof. Dr. Danja Schünemann (RUB working group on the molecular biology of plant organelles) has demonstrated for the first time that a membrane protein interacts with a single soluble protein to anchor the subunits...

2011-06-17 13:07:30

Although scientists have been able to sequence the genomes of many organisms, they still lack a context for associating the proteins encoded in genes with specific biological processes. To better understand the genetics underlying plant physiology and ecology"”especially in regard to photosynthesis"”a team of researchers including Carnegie's Arthur Grossman identified a list of proteins encoded in the genomes of plants and green algae, but not in the genomes of organisms that...

2010-01-27 10:49:10

As so-called primary producers, plants use solar energy to synthesize the foodstuffs that sustain other forms of life. This process of photosynthesis works in much the same way as the solar panels that supply energy for domestic heating. Like these, plant leaves must cope with variations in the level and quality of ambient light. LMU researcher Professor Dario Leister and his colleagues at LMU Munich have been studying how this is accomplished in the thale cress, Arabidopsis thaliana. "It...

2008-06-24 03:02:21

By Ferreira, Fernando J Guo, Cathy; Coleman, John R Carbonic anhydrase (CA; EC catalyzes the interconversion of CO^sub 2^ and HCO^sub 3^^sup -^ and is a major protein constituent of the C^sub 3^ higher plant chloroplast where it is presumed to play a role in photosynthetic carbon assimilation. In this study, we have used both RNA antisense and gene knockout lines to specifically reduce the activity of the chloroplast betaCA1 polypeptide (At3g01500) in the model plant Arabidopsis...

2008-06-24 03:02:20

By Matringe, Michel Ksas, Brigitte; Rey, Pascal; Havaux, Michel Vitamin E is a generic term for a group of lipid-soluble antioxidant compounds, the tocopherols and tocotrienols. While tocotrienols are considered as important vitamin E components in humans, with functions in health and disease, the protective functions of tocotrienols have never been investigated in plants, contrary to tocopherols. We took advantage of the strong accumulation of tocotrienols in leaves of double transgenic...

Word of the Day
  • Like a worm in form or movement; vermiform; tortuous or sinuous; also, writhing or wriggling.
  • Like the track or trace of a worm; appearing as if worm-eaten; vermiculate.
  • Marked with fine, close-set, wavy or tortuous lines of color; vermiculated.
  • A form of rusticated masonry which is so wrought as to appear thickly indented with worm-tracks.
This word ultimately comes from the Latin 'vermis,' worm.