Projects & Grants

Internal Grant Competition DGC

Roles of non-bilayer lipids and non-lamellar lipid phases in the structure, dynamics and function of plant thylakoid membranes
Project Id19-13637S
Main solverdoc. RNDr. Vladimír Špunda, CSc.
Periodr1/2019 - 12/2021
ProviderStandardní projekt GA ČR
AnotationThe proposal deals with one of the enigmatic questions of membrane biology, the role of nonbilayer membrane lipids - focusing on plant thylakoid membranes, an exemplary of energyconverting membranes. The bilayer organization of thylakoid membranes warrants the build-up and utilization for ATP synthesis of the electrochemical potential gradient for protons. However, non-bilayer lipids comprise about half of their lipid contents. Recently, we have discovered that intact, fully functional plant thylakoids, in addition to the bilayer phase, contain two isotropic phases and an inverted hexagonal phase, and proposed a novel thylakoid membrane model (Garab et al. 2017 Scientific Reports), but our understanding of the structural and functional roles of lipid polymorphism in thylakoid membrane systems is still rudimentary. To gain a better understanding of this problem, we shall use biophysical and analytical techniques and measure physiological parameters on wild type and lipid- and lipocalin-mutant plants and isolated thylakoid membranes under a variety of environmental conditions.