Projects & Grants

Internal Grant Competition DGC
START-UP grant

Pushing the frontiers of plastid biology research by studying secondarily non-photosynthetic protists
Project Id23-06203S
Main solverprof. Mgr. Marek Eliáš, Ph.D.
Period1/2023 - 12/2025
ProviderStandardní projekt GA ČR
AnotationResidual non-photosynthetic plastids occur in numerous eukaryote lineages, usually with little known physiological roles. We have recently contributed to the exploration of the evolutionary and functional diversity of non-photosynthetic plastids and discovered a putative new case of a very rare phenomenon of complete secondary plastid loss. This work has opened up new important questions in plastid biology in general, which we want to address through an integrated research project uniting three labs with complementary expertise and resources. We will obtain sequence data of several species of non-photosynthetic protists and study their plastids or genetic remnants thereof in silico. In parallel we will employ functional genomics, advanced microscopy, biochemical approaches, and gene expression experiments to better understand the functional and evolutionary aspects of several key functional modules shared by photosynthetic and non-photosynthetic plastids. Our work should deliver significant progress in protist biology at the organismic to biochemical level.