NDH: What is its role in Energy Metabolism and how does it work? A Biophysical and Cell Biology Investigation


Photosynthetic cyanobacteria and chloroplasts have great potential as biofactories, e.g. for the production of biofuels and pharmaceuticals. Engineering native and heterologous metabolism often results in unique energy demands on the cell, in terms of the ratio between ATP and NADPH produced in photosynthesis. The most effective way of increasing relative ATP production is the NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase-like (NDH) complex, which remains very poorly understood.1 In this project we aim to understand the function, electron donors and mechanism of the NDH using biophysics, biochemistry and molecular biology. Ultimately, this work will guide manipulation of photosynthetic metabolism in synthetic biology.


Peltier P, Aro E-M, Shikanai T (2016) NDH-1 and NDH-2 Plastoquinone Reductases in Oxygenic Photosynthesis Annu Rev Plant Biol.  67, 55-80, doi: 10.1146/annurev-arplant-043014-114752


Liua L-M, Bryana SJ, Huanga F, Yub J, Nixon PJ, Rich PR, Mullineaux CW (2012) Control of electron transport routes through redox-regulated redistribution of respiratory complexes PNAS 109, 11431–11436, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1120960109


Roessler MM, King MS, Robinson AJ, Armstrong FA, Harmer J, Hirst J (2010) Direct assignment of EPR spectra to structurally defined iron-sulfur clusters in complex I by double electron–electron resonance PNAS 107, 1930-1935, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0908050107


Kimata Ariga Y, Matsmura T, Kada S, Fujimoto H, Fujita Y, Endo T, Mano J, Sat F, Hase T (2000) Differential electron flow around photosystem I by two C4-photosynthetic-cell-specific ferredoxins. EMBO J 19, 5041-50, doi:  10.1038/sj.emboj.7593319


Blanco NE, Ceccoli RD, Dalla Vía MV, Voss I, Segretin ME, Bravo-Almonacid FF, Melzer M, Hajirezaei M-R, Scheibe S, Hanke GT (2013) Expression of the Minor Isoform Pea Ferredoxin in Tobacco Alters Photosynthetic Electron Partitioning and Enhances Cyclic Electron Flow Plant Physiol 161, 866–879, doi: 10.1104/pp.112.211078

Biological Areas:

Cell Biology
Structural Biology


Molecules, cells and industrial biotechnology