Discovering how chloroplasts are made
Chloroplasts and Photosynthesis
The chloroplast is the site of photosynthesis in plants. Most of the chloroplast proteins must be imported from the cytosol. The plant physiology laboratory is interested in the import mechanism and over the years has identified and analyzed components of the chloroplast protein import machinery consisting of the translocon complexes at the outer (Toc) and inner (Tic) membranes. Many of the Toc and Tic components are essential for plant viability and have pale (eg Toc33), albino (eg Toc159) or embryo lethal (eg Toc75) phenotypes.
Chloroplasts contain lipid droplets called plastoglobules. They are involved in the lipid metabolism of the photosynthetic membrane system, the thylakoids. Plastoglobules are studded with enzymes involved in thylakoid lipid metabolism and play a role (among others) in the synthesis and accumulation of prenylquinones: tocopherol (Vitamine E), phylloquinone (Vitamine K) and plastoquinone. In the framework of the SPSW, we use mass spectrometry techniques to determine the lipidome of plastoglobules. Mass spectrometry is also an essential tool to discover the function of unknown plastoglobule enzymes by comparing the lipids in mutants to the wild type.
Chloroplast Protein Import
Chloroplast Lipid Droplets
Analytical chemistry of natural products