Bioenergetics is the science that deals with energy conversion processes by living cells. Photosynthesis, which converts light energy to chemical energy, is the main focus of the Bioenergetics Laboratory of the University of Liège. This includes fundamental and applied aspects of this process.
The dynamics and the regulation of photosynthetic electron transport in response to environmental conditions and to cellular metabolic changes are analysed in different microalgae. The studied species (such as Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, Scenedesmus sp., Chlorella sp., Haematococcus pluvialis and others) are preferentially selected for their potential biotechnological interest, such as for production of high value biomolecules or of third generation biofuels. The conditions for high biomass yields in microalgal cultures of different scales, up to pilot scale, are analysed. For this purpose, procedures for media optimization are used and fine analysis of photosynthetic processes is performed. Compounds of interest in the algal biomass are studied in relation to cell physiology using various chromatographic approaches. A unique outdoor mass culture system is used to evaluate biomass production by selected microalgal strains in naturally fluctuating conditions.
The laboratory also uses a proteomic approach (2D-DIGE) to analyse changes in the metabolism resulting from loss of specific functions in mutants that are affected in photosynthetic or respiratory processes, with the aim of building an integrated knowledge of energetic metabolism at the cellular level.< Plant Physiology | Systems Biology >