Who are we ?

Bioenergetics is the science that deals with energy conversion processes by living cells. Photosynthesis, which converts light energy to chemical energy, is the main focus of the Bioenergetics Laboratory in the university of Liège (Belgium). This includes fundamental and applied aspects of this process.

The dynamics and the regulation of photosynthetic electron transport in response to environmental conditions and to cellular metabolic changes are analysed in different microalgae. The studied species (such as Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, Scenedesmus sp., Chlorella sp., Haematococcus pluvialis and others) are preferentially selected for their potential biotechnological interest, such as for production of high value biomolecules or of third generation biofuels. We analyse the conditions for high biomass yields in microalgal cultures of different scales, up to pilot scale. For this purpose, tools allowing fine analysis of photosynthetic processes (based on chlorophyll fluorescence or on pump-probe absorbance spectroscopy) are used. Compounds of interest in the algal biomass are studied using analytical approaches such as high performance liquid chromatography and gas chromatography.

The laboratory also uses a proteomic approach (2D-DIGE) to analyse changes in the metabolism resulting from loss of specific functions in mutants that are affected in photosynthetic or respiratory processes, with the aim of building an integrated knowledge of energetic metabolism at the cellular level. These studies include the use of animal models for some aspects of mitochondrial bioenergetics linked to oxidative stress or to some diseases.

This laboratory is part of