Our research group employs genetic, molecular, and biochemical approaches to understand how cyanobacteria in aquatic habitats sense and respond to changing environments. We primarily focus on how light and nutrient conditions affect the composition of the photosynthetic light harvesting antennae of these cells. Cyanobacterial photosynthesis produces nearly 50% of the Earth’s oxygen, so it is important to understand how antennae biogenesis is controlled. We are:
- Uncovering the signaling pathways regulating acclimation to changing ratios of red and green light in freshwater and marine environments.
- Characterizing the regulation of an ecologically important acclimation response of marine cyanobacteria to varying ratios of blue and green light.
- Discovering the mechanisms controlling a fascinating response to sulfur limitation involving cellular self-cannibalism called “proteome remodeling".
- Restructuring cyanobacterial light harvesting characteristics to increase solar energy capture efficiency and provide low cost, sustainable energy.