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Special Issue "Photosynthesis 2.0"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Biochemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Matteo Ballottari
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biotechnology, University of Verona, Strada le Grazie 15, 37134 Verona, Italy
Interests: Biochemistry; Photosynthesis; Photoprotection; microalgae; metabolic engeenering
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Stefano Cazzaniga
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
University of Verona, Verona, Italy
Interests: Plant Physiology; abiotic stress; spectroscopy; Plant biochemistry

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Photosynthesis is the metabolic process by which light energy is converted into chemical energy, which is used to sustain cell activities, including carbon fixation. Light energy conversion by photosynthetic organisms is indeed at the center of life on our planet, as it is the primary process for producing organic carbon molecules and enriches the atmosphere with oxygen, which is required for aerobic metabolism. In the last decades, several advancements have been reached on knowledge about the fundamental molecular mechanisms at the base of photosynthesis. However, there are still several gaps in our understanding of the photosynthetic processes that need to be filled by advanced and multidisciplinary research efforts. Moreover, an understanding of the mechanisms, constrains, and limitations of photosynthesis will allow for the design and testing of a synthetic biology approach that could improve the efficiency of light conversion toward Photosynthesis 2.0, with enhance carbon fixation and biomass/biomolecules production. This Special Issue deals with the recent advances in the biochemistry and molecular physiology of the different steps of photosynthesis, their regulation, and the development of novel biotechnological strategy to improve the process. In this very wide context, we invite investigators to submit original research articles that explore different topics on the overall photosynthetic process, including, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Light harvesting and photoprotection in photosynthetic organisms
  • Regulation of light and dark phases of photosynthesis
  • Carbon fixation and photorespiration
  • Alternative electron transport
  • Synthetic biology approaches to increase photosynthetic efficiency and biomass productivity

Prof. Dr. Matteo Ballottari
Dr. Stefano Cazzaniga
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • photosynthesis
  • photoprotection
  • synthetic biology
  • light harvesting
  • carotenoids
  • chlorophylls
  • photosystem
  • Calvin cycle
  • carbon fixation

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Antenna Protein Clustering In Vitro Unveiled by Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(6), 2969; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22062969 - 15 Mar 2021
Viewed by 294
Antenna protein aggregation is one of the principal mechanisms considered effective in protecting phototrophs against high light damage. Commonly, it is induced, in vitro, by decreasing detergent concentration and pH of a solution of purified antennas; the resulting reduction in fluorescence emission is [...] Read more.
Antenna protein aggregation is one of the principal mechanisms considered effective in protecting phototrophs against high light damage. Commonly, it is induced, in vitro, by decreasing detergent concentration and pH of a solution of purified antennas; the resulting reduction in fluorescence emission is considered to be representative of non-photochemical quenching in vivo. However, little is known about the actual size and organization of antenna particles formed by this means, and hence the physiological relevance of this experimental approach is questionable. Here, a quasi-single molecule method, fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS), was applied during in vitro quenching of LHCII trimers from higher plants for a parallel estimation of particle size, fluorescence, and antenna cluster homogeneity in a single measurement. FCS revealed that, below detergent critical micelle concentration, low pH promoted the formation of large protein oligomers of sizes up to micrometers, and therefore is apparently incompatible with thylakoid membranes. In contrast, LHCII clusters formed at high pH were smaller and homogenous, and yet still capable of efficient quenching. The results altogether set the physiological validity limits of in vitro quenching experiments. Our data also support the idea that the small, moderately quenching LHCII oligomers found at high pH could be relevant with respect to non-photochemical quenching in vivo. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photosynthesis 2.0)
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