Available PhD student position on Microalgal Carbon and Lipid Metabolism

Topic: Manipulating redox balance to increase carbon reserve formation in microalgae

Host lab: The lab is located at Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology of Aix Marseille (http://biam.cea.fr/drf/biam/Pages/accueil.aspx), which is part of The French Atomic and Alternative Energy Commission (CEA), and part of the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), and University of Aix Marseille in the region Provence in the South of France.

Starting date: fall 2019 (3 years)

Funding: This project is funded by the CEA. The PhD student will receive a very competitive stipends plus all the social benefit.

Director of Thesis: Dr. Yonghua Li-Beisson

E-mail: yonghua.li@cea.fr

Scientific background and project: Microalgae requires only sun light and water to fix atmosphere CO2 into organic carbon. They therefore represent a promising platform not only for production of a range of biomaterials ranging from food, fuel to green chemistry application, but also are key to achieving a carbon neutral economy. Microalgae naturally have the capacity to produce starch and lipids; starch are precursors to bioethanol and lipids are precursors to biodiesel. But high amount of starch or lipid is made mostly under conditions when cell division and growth are compromised. Our team has recently discovered for the first time that redox communication occur between peroxisome and chloroplast, two of the three most energetic subcellular organelles, and we further shown that this redox communication plays an important role in regulation of photosynthesis, lipid and starch metabolism (Kong et al 2018 Plant Cell). In this PhD thesis, we aim to further explore the impact of altering redox state on carbon reserve formation in microalgae.

Profile desired: The candidate is expected to have already some experience working with molecular biology of Chlamydomonas. Experience in Confocal microscopy a plus. He/she will be trained in algal physiology, lipidomics and metabolism. He/she will work in close collaboration with other researchers, technicians and students of the group.

Reference: Kong F, Burlacot A, Liang Y, Legeret B, Alseekh S, Brotman Y, Fernie AR, Krieger-Liszkay A, Beisson F, Peltier G, Li-Beisson Y (2018) Interorganelle Communication: Peroxisomal MALATE DEHYDROGENASE 2 Connects Lipid Catabolism to Photosynthesis through Redox Coupling in Chlamydomonas. Plant Cell


For more ref on related work : please visit the https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1064-1816