MPhil by Research in Biochemistry, University of Cambridge
BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry, Royal Holloway University of London
My research is centred on elucidating the function of cytochrome c6A, a protein found in the chloroplasts of land plants and green algae that is similar in structure to cytochrome c6, but does not perform the same function in photosynthesis. Therefore I am analysing mutants of the unicellular algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii that either overexpress or knock down expression of cytochrome c6A, as well as measuring expression of cytochrome c6A under various conditions to determine what scenarios trigger regulation.
I am also investigating some features of cytochrome c6A that differ it from cytochrome c6. These features include single amino acids that contribute to a large difference in redox midpoint potential between the two cytochromes, and a sequence of 12 amino acids called the loop insertion peptide that is found exclusively in cytochrome c6A. Analysis of these unique features could lead to understanding how cytochrome c6A fits into the light reaction of photosynthesis.
Determining the molecular function of cytochrome c6A will lead to further understanding on how photosynthesis is regulated, which in turn could lead to new methods of optimising plant growth in agriculture and industry.