Light capture is the first step of all microalgae production systems and the solar biomanufacturing facilities based on them. The photosynthetic systems involved in this light capture and utilisation process can be engineered to increase photon conversion efficiency of our biotechnological processes.

Objective/mission (The vision): The objective of this project is to characterise a series of engineered photosynthetic membrane protein supercomplexes to support a program of structure guided systems optimisation.

Research approach (The initiative): The project will involve microalgae cultivation, membrane protein purification, cryo-electron microscopy and high-resolution single particle analysis to resolve the atomic structures of these supercomplexes to provide structural insights to guide high-precision CRISPR mediated systems engineering.

Impacts and applications: Impacts include fundamental insights into the atomic structure and macromolecular organisation of the photosynthetic machinery and support the development of high efficiency solar industries.

Project members

Key contacts

Professor Ben Hankamer

Director, IMB Centre for Solar Biotechnology
Professorial Research Fellow - GL
Institute for Molecular Bioscience

Dr Ian Ross

Senior Biologist
Institute for Molecular Bioscience