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Sujith Puthiyaveetil


  • Assistant Professor of Biochemistry
BCHM Room 305A

Area of Expertise: Genetic and molecular control of photosynthetic light utilization 

Our laboratory seeks to understand how photosynthetic organisms sense changes in ambient light and optimize their photosynthetic efficiency. We specifically look at genetic and molecular control mechanisms, which enable plants, algae and cyanobacteria to acclimatize to light quality and quantity gradients found in natural growth environments. Of particular interest is a remarkable genetic control circuit of light quality acclimation known as the chloroplast two-component system. In plants and green algae, the chloroplast two-component system has been rewired in evolution to give it novel and surprising signaling and functional properties. We also study a one-component genetic control system that underlies the blue light acclimation of the plant photosynthetic machinery. Another major goal of our laboratory is to understand the precise role and regulation of two key chloroplast serine/threonine kinases that modulate the structure, function and turnover of photosystem II in a light-dependent manner. We work with the model higher plant Arabidopsis thaliana and selected algal and cyanobacterial species as experimental systems, employing biochemical, biophysical and functional genomics tools.

Selected Publications

Puthiyaveetil, S., Kavanagh, T. A., Cain, P., Sullivan, J. A., Newell , C. A., Gray, J. C., . . . Allen, J. F. (2008). The ancestral symbiont sensor kinase CSK links photosynthesis with gene expression in chloroplasts. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105, 10061-10066.

Puthiyaveetil, S., & Allen, J. F. (2009). Chloroplast two-component systems: evolution of the link between photosynthesis and gene expression. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, 276(1665), 2133-2145.

Puthiyaveetil, S., Ibrahim, I. M., Jelicic, B., Tomašic, A., Fulgosi, H., & Allen, J. F. (2010). Transcriptional control of photosynthesis genes: the evolutionarily conserved regulatory mechanism in plastid genome function. Genome Biology and Evolution, 2, 888-896.

Puthiyaveetil, S. (2011). A mechanism for regulation of chloroplast LHC II kinase by plastoquinol and thioredoxin. FEBS Letters, 585, 1717-1721.

Puthiyaveetil, S., Ibrahim, I. M., & Allen, J. F. (2012). Oxidation-reduction signalling components in regulatory pathways of state transitions and photosystem stoichiometry adjustment in chloroplasts. Plant, Cell & Environment, 35, 347-359.

Puthiyaveetil, S., Ibrahim, I. M., & Allen, J. F. (2013). Evolutionary rewiring: a modified prokaryotic gene regulatory pathway in chloroplasts. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 368, 1622.

Puthiyaveetil, S., Tsabari, O., Lowry, T., Lenhert, S., Lewis, R. R., Reich, Z., & Kirchhoff, H. (2014). Compartmentalization of the protein repair machinery in photosynthetic membranes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(44), 15839-15844.

Tietz, S., Puthiyaveetil, S., Enlow, H. M., Yarbrough, R., Wood, M., Semchonok, D. A., . . . Kirchhoff, H. (2015). Functional implications of photosystem II crystal formation in photosynthetic membranes. The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 290(22), 14091-14106.

Ibrahim, I. M., Puthiyaveetil, S., & Allen, J. F. (2016). A Two-Component Regulatory System in Transcriptional Control of Photosystem Stoichiometry: Redox-Dependent and Sodium Ion-Dependent Phosphoryl Transfer from Cyanobacterial Histidine Kinase Hik2 to Response Regulators Rre1 and RppA. Frontiers in Plant Science, 7, 137. doi:10.3389/fpls.2016.00137

Puthiyaveetil, S., Van Oort, B., & Kirchhoff, H. (2017). Surface charge dynamics in photosynthetic membranes and the structural consequences. Nat Plants. doi:10.1038/nplants.2017.20

Awards & Honors

(2012) Leverhulme Trust Early Career Research Fellowship.

Department of Biochemistry, 175 South University Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2063 USA, (765) 494-1600

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