Projects & Grants

Identification and characterization of structural entities associated with different lipid phases of plant thylakoid membranes
Project Id23-07744S
Main solverdoc. RNDr. Vladimír Špunda, CSc.
Period1/2023 - 12/2025
ProviderStandardní projekt GA ČR
AnotationEarlier, we have shown that plant thylakoid membranes (TMs), in addition to the bilayer, contain intense non-bilayer lipid phases which display highly dynamic features, reversible reorganizations fine-tuning the photosynthetic machinery. However, the origin of the different phases in terms of structural entities of the highly organized TM system remained elusive. The objective of the present proposal is to identify and characterize domains of TMs associated with different lipid phases ? using techniques of molecular spectroscopy, structural biology, biochemical analysis and to test photosynthetic functions. Working hypotheses: (i) the size of bilayer phase is close to the percolation threshold of lipid-soluble compounds ? hinting the importance of protein networks in membrane energization and ATP synthesis; (ii) isotropic phase originates from membrane fusion of adjacent stroma TMs ? they interconnect probably individually functional granum-stroma TM subcompartments; (iii) HII phase arises from (a) lipidencapsulated water-soluble protein(s) ? possibly an electron transfer protein.