Maria Paola Puggioni - AG Matsubara


Dynamic Regulation of Oxygenic Photosynthesis: Study of acclimatory responses of Arabidopsis to photo-oxidative stress

In natural environments photosynthetic organisms are exposed to heterogeneous environmental factors and they experience constantly changing conditions that affect their physiology and photosynthetic performance. Sunlight intensity can change quickly and dramatically to persist for a short or long time. When absorbed light energy exceeds the photosynthetic utilization capacity of plants (excess light), production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and consequently photo-oxidative stress could damage cell constituents. Thus, plants have evolved many strategies to adapt their physiology, regulate photosynthesis to effectively respond to changing environments and protect the photosynthetic apparatus against excess light energy and ROS. Dynamic regulation of photosynthesis is required at different levels and time scales to survive and prosper in dynamic environments. Extensive studies in the past have advanced our knowledge on regulatory mechanisms of photosynthesis and photoprotection. However, most of these studies were conducted in plants that were grown under constant light, which is quite different from dynamic growth light environments.

In this project I study long-term strategies of plants to acclimate their photosynthetic apparatus to dynamic fluctuations of light.  In the previous work carried out in our laboratory, many differentially expressed genes have been identified in leaves of Arabidopsis thaliana under fluctuating light conditions compared to constant light conditions. Starting from these differentially expressed genes I will use a reverse genetic approach to investigate the roles of interesting candidate genes in regulation of long-term photosynthetic acclimation to photo-oxidative stress induced by excess light under fluctuating light or high light conditions. Besides individual genes and proteins, I would like to address the questions about functional relationships between some of these components, and further, the mechanisms by which such a cellular network responds to changing environments.

Starting date: 15.01.2016 / PhD student

Thesis committee members: Shizue Matsubara, Andreas Weber, Peter Jahns, Eva Farré

Mini Academic CV:

  • 2015:
    • Master of Science in Molecular Biology, University of Padova. Italy. Thesis: "Genetic and physiological approaches to study cyclic electron transport and iron homeostasis in Physcomitrella patens"
  • 2012:
    • Bachelor of Science in Biology, University of Cagliari. Italy. Thesis: "Determination of acetylcholinesterase activity"

Maria Paola Puggioni

Forschungszentrum Jülich, IBG-2
52428 Jülich
Building: 06.2
Room: 412
Telefon: +49 2461 61-4514

Responsible for the content: E-MailDr. Petra Fackendahl