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The substitution and formation of red-shifted chlorophylls


Novel pigments and new directions in photosynthesis: past, now and future


Professor Min Chen.

Research location

School of Life and Environmental Sciences

Program type



This project will investigate the molecular mechanisms of biosynthesis of red-shifted chlorophylls, which includes the biochemical steps leading to the formation of red-shifted chlorophylls (Chl d and Chl f), including the enzymes and genetic structures and the regulation of these steps. To address this problem, the integrated methods – embracing bioinformatics, genomics and biochemistry – will be developed to pinpoint the active gene(s) and enzyme(s). In the late stage of the project, we will explore the potential application of those red-shifted chlorophylls in biotechnology.

Additional information

•    Current PhD/Hons topics being undertaken at the location or with the supervisors
Three PhD Projects are being undertaken in A/Prof Chen’s laboratory.
1.    Light-harvesting systems in Chromera velia
2.    Function of antenna systems in a newly isolated cyanobacterium containing chlorophyll f
3.    Global protein analysis of cyanobacterium Acaryochloris marina under various oxygen-stressed conditions.

•    Is the opportunity also available for Honours students?

Yes, one-year potential projects are available for honours students. Details please contact A/Prof Min Chen (

•    Techniques, methodologies, research approaches, technologies, etc., employed by the project - e.g., electron microscopy, textual analysis, etc.

Pigment and pigment-bound protein analyses are performed by using a spectrophotometer, fluorescence photometer and other molecular spectral analysis methods.
General protein isolation and characteristic methods, such as electrophoresis (SDS_PAGE, IEF, Western Blotting, Native electrophoresis, 2-D gel, peptide mass finger printing and other proteomic analysis, protein structure (electron microscope image analysis and single particle modeling).
Chromatographic anaylsis such as HPLC (high-performance liquid chromatography), FPLC (Fast protein liquid chromatography), gel filtration and ion-exchanging columns for proteins and protein-complexes purification.
DNA, RNA isolation, PCR (DNA as templates) and RT-PCR (RNA as templates), Gene transformation and functional studies in vitro.

HDR Inherent Requirements

In addition to the academic requirements set out in the Science Postgraduate Handbook, you may be required to satisfy a number of inherent requirements to complete this degree. Example of inherent requirement may include:

- Confidential disclosure and registration of a disability that may hinder your performance in your degree;
- Confidential disclosure of a pre-existing or current medical condition that may hinder your performance in your degree (e.g. heart disease, pace-maker, significant immune suppression, diabetes, vertigo, etc.);
- Ability to perform independently and/or with minimal supervision;
- Ability to undertake certain physical tasks (e.g. heavy lifting);
- Ability to undertake observatory, sensory and communication tasks;
- Ability to spend time at remote sites (e.g. One Tree Island, Narrabri and Camden);
- Ability to work in confined spaces or at heights;
- Ability to operate heavy machinery (e.g. farming equipment);
- Hold or acquire an Australian driver’s licence;
- Hold a current scuba diving license;
- Hold a current Working with Children Check;
- Meet initial and ongoing immunisation requirements (e.g. Q-Fever, Vaccinia virus, Hepatitis, etc.)

You must consult with your nominated supervisor regarding any identified inherent requirements before completing your application.

Want to find out more?

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is 1306

Other opportunities with Professor Min Chen