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Cryo-EM structure of the spinach cytochrome b6f complex at 3.6Å resolution

We have solved the structure of one of the key components of photosynthesis, a discovery that could lead to photosynthesis being ‘redesigned’ to achieve higher yields and meet urgent food security needs. The study published today in the journal Nature, reveals the structure of cytochrome b6f – the protein complex that significantly influences plant growth…

Single molecule study of the plastocyanin-cytochrome b6f ET complex

  Small diffusible redox proteins play a ubiquitous role in bioenergetic systems, facilitating electron transfer (ET) between membrane bound complexes. Sustaining high ET turnover rates requires that the association between extrinsic and membrane-bound partners is highly specific, yet also sufficiently weak to promote rapid post-ET separation. In oxygenic photosynthesis the small soluble electron carrier protein…

Membranes on the move. How plants sense and respond to changing levels of sunlight

New research published this week in Plant Physiology by Will Wood and Sam Barnett in the Johnson Lab has revealed how the photosynthetic membranes in leaves respond to changes in light intensity and spectral quality to optimise photosynthesis. The new insights, based on remarkable images provided by sub-diffraction structured illumination fluorescence microscopy conducted at the…

Johnson Lab awarded new Leverhulme Grant

A prestigious Leverhulme Research Grant totalling £410K has been awarded to the Lab. During photosynthesis plants convert solar energy into chemical energy in the form of ATP and NADPH, which are then used to power conversion of carbon dioxide, sulphur and nitrogen into biomass. Depending on the environmental and developmental state of the plant, the…

New hypothesis on metabolic regulation of electron transfer

A new hypothesis for the regulation of dynamic thylakoid stacking by the stromal metabolism has been published in the Biochemical Journal. Abstract. The photosynthetic chloroplast thylakoid membrane of higher plants is a complex three-dimensional structure that is morphologically dynamic on a timescale of just a few minutes. The membrane dynamics are driven by the phosphorylation of…

Matt wins 2018 Colworth Medal

Matt has been honoured with the Biochemical Society’s Colworth Medal for outstanding research in the field of Biochemistry. Dr Matt Johnson from the Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at the University of Sheffield has been awarded the 2018 Colworth Medal, the most distinguished award a biochemical researcher can receive in the early stages of their…

New Nature Plants publication for Johnson Lab

New research published this week in Nature Plants by the Johnson Lab explains how plants switch from photoprotection to photosynthesis when transitioning from darkness to daylight. During photosynthesis plant chloroplasts convert light into chemical energy and utilise it to make sugars from CO2. It’s been known since the early part of the twentieth century that…

Human Frontiers Science Program Grant Award

A $1 million funding boost will help scientists understand how plants protect themselves from excess light, providing new insights that could improve global food security. The funding from the Human Frontiers Science Programme (HFSP) will support research by Dr Matt Johnson from Sheffield’s Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, who was awarded one of the…

Matt wins 2016 SEB President’s Medal in Plant Science

A University of Sheffield plant scientist, Dr Matt Johnson, has been named today (15 January) as a winner of one of biology’s most prestigious prizes – the Society of Experimental Biology’s President’s Medals. The award recognises Dr Johnson’s research on the molecular machinery of photosynthesis. His work represents a major breakthrough in understanding how plants…

BBSRC grant award to Johnson Lab

The Johnson Lab has been awarded a £382,257 BBSRC grant on the ‘Quantification of the forces that mediate electron transfers between proteins’, the 3 year project will commence on January 1st 2017. Electron transfer reactions are the basis of photosynthesis and respiration, which power all life on Earth. In essence energy directly provided by the…