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Institute of Bio- and Geosciences

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Regulation of leaf carotenoid metabolism under stress conditions

Thi-Mai Anh Banh

The composition of leaf carotenoids (Caros), which are synthesized in two branches (α- and β-branch) of the Caro biosynthetic pathway, is highly conserved among higher plants, reflecting the essential functions of different Caros in photosynthesis and photoprotection. While changes in leaf Caro composition have been reported in a wide variety of plants under diverse environmental conditions, the mechanisms of adjustment are largely unknown, except for short-term operation of the xanthophyll cycle (XC). Our previous carbon isotopic pulse-chase labeling experiments have revealed continuous turnover of carotenes and chlorophylls in the light and highlighted recycling of phytol between chlorophylls and tocopherols. In my PhD project, I study the regulation of Caro metabolism (biosynthesis, conversion and degradation) in leaves, focusing on the changes occurring at the level of metabolites by 13CO2 labeling and LC-MS on the one hand and at the level of gene transcription by in vivo reporter gene assay on the other hand.