Current Research Interests

Our research is aimed to understand plant cell responses and adaptation strategies to environmental stresses. Furthermore we aim to elucidate molecular mechanisms which are involved in assembly, function, maintenance and regulation of the photosynthetic machinery in oxygenic chloroplast photosynthesis. For this purpose, we are mainly using the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii as a model system and combining molecular techniques like reverse genetics and proteomics to elucidate these processes. Hereby, we are engaged in different research lines.

We are aiming to explore electron transfer and binding mechanisms between the soluble electron transfer proteins plastocyanin or cytochrome c6 and photosystem I (PSI) (Finazzi et al., 2005; Sommer et al., 2004; Sommer et al., 2006; Sommer et al., 2002, Kuhlgert et al., 2012). Additionally, we aim to investigate the molecular recognition between PSI and its light-harvesting protein complex (LHCI), allowing the formation of the PSI/LHCI complex, subunit remodeling as well as efficient excitation energy transfer (Naumann et al., 2005; Nield et al., 2004; Storf et al., 2004; Takahashi et al., 2004, Busch et al., 2010). Hereby we are also taking advantage of absolute quantitation by using proteotypic peptide probes to enumerate the stoichiometry of LHCI subunits per PSI core complex (Stauber et al., 2009) as well as chemical crosslinking and mass spectrometric peptide identification (Ozawa et al., 2018). For structural analysis of PSI-LHCI complexes we using single particle electron microscopy (Steinbeck et al., 2018) and cryo-electron microscopy (unpublished). We are also engaged in characterizing LHCSR3 photosystem association and phosphorylation (Xue et al., 2015, Scholz et al., 2019).


Dr. Friedel Drepper, Universität Freiburg
Dr. Giovanni Finazzi, Institut de Biologie Physico-Chimique, Paris, France
PD Dr. Olaf Kruse, Universität Bielefeld
Dr. John Nield, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK
Prof. Dr. Takahashi Yuichiro, Okayama University, Japan
The Solar Bio-Fuels© Consortium


The research of the Hippler group is currently funded by:

DFG - Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DAAD - Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst BMBF - Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung Seventh Framework Programme