Marie Curie Individual Fellowship for Wojciech Nawrocki

Marie Curie Individual Fellowship for Wojciech Nawrocki (Biophysics) – The Fate of Excitation in Photoinhibited Chloroplasts

05/01/2018 | 2:22 PM

Plants use light energy to oxidise water and reduce carbon dioxide in the process of photosynthesis. However, light is Janus-faced for the biology of the chloroplast: it is also constantly damaging the photosynthetic apparatus, in particular the water-splitting complex, Photosystem II. This light-induced physical inactivation of PSII is called photoinhibition. While a number of photoprotective mechanisms dissipating excess energy exist in plants, they typically depend upon the activity of PSII. However, during photoinhibition the Photosystem II is degraded, yet an unknown, efficient excitation quenching prevails. Thanks to the support of the European Commission, we aim to determine the origin of this photoinhibition-related quenching with a variety of time-resolved spectroscopic approaches in vivo.

Wojciech was formerly affiliated with the Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology in Paris, where he obtained his PhD, and with the University of Liège. He will work at the VU under the supervision of Professor Roberta Croce in the group of Biophysics of Photosynthesis.