Algae UKPhD OpportunityWR DTP project: Assembly principles of the CO2-fixing liquid-liquid phase separated organelle, the Pyrenoid
WR DTP project: Assembly principles of the CO2-fixing liquid-liquid phase separated organelle, the Pyrenoid
About the Project
Pyrenoids are liquid-liquid phase separated organelles found in the chloroplasts of diverse eukaryotic algae and are responsible for ~30% of global carbon fixation. They are assemblies of the CO2 fixing enzyme Rubisco phase-separated around thylakoid membranes. This project will use cutting-edge methods to give unprecedented insights into the structure and function of pyrenoids. Key Rubisco binding proteins involved in pyrenoid assembly will be identified bioinformatically across diverse algae and then functionally characterized using cutting-edge algal molecular biology and biochemistry. Their 3D structure when bound to Rubisco will be determined using cryo electron microscopy. Generated data will help guide the engineering of a pyrenoid into higher plants which has the potential to boost crop yields by up to 60% and to enhance biobased carbon capture technology to combat climate change.