Systematic identification and characterization of genes in the regulation and biogenesis of photosynthetic machinery

Moshe Kafri, Weronika Patena, Lance Martin, Lianyong Wang, Gillian Gomer, Sabrina L. Ergun, Arthur K. Sirkejyan, Audrey Goh, Alexandra T. Wilson, Sophia E. Gavrilenko, Michal Breker, Asael Roichman, Claire D. McWhite, Joshua D. Rabinowitz, Frederick R. Cross, Martin Wühr, Martin C. Jonikas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Photosynthesis is central to food production and the Earth's biogeochemistry, yet the molecular basis for its regulation remains poorly understood. Here, using high-throughput genetics in the model eukaryotic alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, we identify with high confidence (false discovery rate [FDR] < 0.11) 70 poorly characterized genes required for photosynthesis. We then enable the functional characterization of these genes by providing a resource of proteomes of mutant strains, each lacking one of these genes. The data allow assignment of 34 genes to the biogenesis or regulation of one or more specific photosynthetic complexes. Further analysis uncovers biogenesis/regulatory roles for at least seven proteins, including five photosystem I mRNA maturation factors, the chloroplast translation factor MTF1, and the master regulator PMR1, which regulates chloroplast genes via nuclear-expressed factors. Our work provides a rich resource identifying regulatory and functional genes and placing them into pathways, thereby opening the door to a system-level understanding of photosynthesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5638-5655.e25
Issue number25
StatePublished - Dec 7 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


  • RNA sequencing
  • genetics
  • methionyl-tRNA formyltransferase
  • photosynthesis
  • photosystem I maturation factors
  • protein localization
  • protein profiling
  • retrograde regulation


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