Date of Award

Spring 5-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Biological Sciences


Biological Sciences

Major Professor

Schluchter, Wendy

Second Advisor

Clancy, Mary

Third Advisor

Liu, Zhengchang


Marine cyanobacteria of the genus Synechococcushave light harvesting complexes composed of the phycobiliproteins phycoerythrin I and phycoerythrin II. Synechyococcussp RS9916 is capable of altering the ratio of blue-light absorbing phycourobilin to green-light absorbing phycoerythrobilin ligated to these phycoerythrin proteins through a process known as Type IV Chromatic Acclimation (CA4). During CA4, the mpeZ, unk10and fciCgenes are upregulated under blue light, and these three genes are responsible for increasing the phycourobilin content ligated to phycoerythrin I and II. The role of fciCas a transcription activator of mpeZ, andunk10 genes is explored using knockout and overexpression mutants. The role of unk10is explored in phycourobilin ligation to a-phycoerythrin II using a heterologous recombinant protein expression system.


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