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Biophysics and Biotechnology of Membranes Laboratory

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Research Group: Biophysics and Biotechnology of Membranes

Research Staff

Kostas Stamatakis, Senior Researcher

George C. Papageorgiou, Emeritus Scientist

Meropi Tsimilli – Michael, Collaboratig Scientist

Vayenos Dimitris, MSc graduate student

Heliopoulos, N.S, graduate student in collaboration with Materials & Membranes for Environmental Applications Laboratory (M.E.S.L.)



Research Interests

Membrane and cytosolic defense mechanisms mobilized by photosynthetic organisms when provoked by water deficit and salinity (Papageorgiou and Stamatakis, 2004).

Permeability of plasma membranes to water, ions, and neutral molecules (Stamatakis, K., et al., 1998; Stamatakis, K., et al. 1999; Stamatakis K, et al., 2005).

Critical role of turgor for adaptation to salinity and cell division (Stamatakis et al. 1998b; Papageorgiou, G.C. et al., 1999; Papageorgiou and Stamatakis, 2004).

Studies on Chlorophyll fluorescence induction curves in higher plants and cyanobacteria (Kotakis et al. 2006; Papageorgiou et al., 2007; Stamatakis et al., 2007; Tsimilli-Michael et al., 2009).

Studies on Να++ antiporters (Billini M., et al., 2005; Billini M., et al., 2007; Billini M., et al., 2008)

Studies on the photosynthetic Hydrogen production (Favvas et al in preparation).

Recent laboratory’s Scientific Subjects of Interest

The photosynthetic cyanobacteria are advisable candidates for the sequestration of large quantities CO2 because they can grow in extreme or/and specified environmental conditions (temperature, pressure, salinity, pH, chemical composition) and are capable of binding CO2 producing chemical compounds of high energy upon their exposure to sunlight. The usage of rapidly growing cyanobacteria constitutes a much promising source for biofuels production which can substitute natural sources of energy. The production and accumulation of sucrose in cyanobacteria is connected to their adaptation to extreme environmental conditions (Ladas et al., 1998; Ladas and Papageorgiou, 2000; Vayenos and Stamatakis in preparation).

We study the time dependent changes (fluorescence induction) of chlorophyll a (Chl a) in cyanobacteria, (Papageorgiou et al., 2007; Stamatakis et al., 2007; Tsimilli-Michael et al., 2009) giving emphasis to the role of the carotenoids as light harvesters and as distributer of the electronic excitation in the reaction centers of the photosystems (PS) I and II (PSI, PSII). On the contrary to the chlorophylls and the phycobilisomes (PBS), the light harvesting mechanism of the carotenoids and the provision electronic excitation by them in the reaction centers of the PSI, PSII has not been described with clarity until now (Stamatakis et al., under revision). Our research focuses on the role of carotenoids and on the osmolality of cyanobacterial cells (Papageorgiou and Stamatakis, 2004) in the balanced excitation of the reaction centers of PSI and PSII, so that they turn over at the same rate and the quantum yield of photosynthesis becomes maximized.

Technological applications by studying the fluorescence time dependent changes of the cyanobacterial chlorophyll Chl a. Usage of the fluorescence induction constants (OJIP) as antimicrobial indicators of several substances activity (Heliopoulos et al. in preparation_b).

Study of the photosynthetic apparatus resulting Hydrogen (H2) production.

 

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