About Associate Professor Min Chen

A/Prof Chen is fascinated with expanding the spectrum of light that can drive oxygenic photosynthesis.

A/Prof Chen is a molecular biologist and biochemist, who studies the mechanism of photosynthesis in marine cyanobacteria, as well as experimental bioinformatics..

A/Prof Min Chen completed her BSc and MSc degrees at the North-East Normal University in China and her PhD degree in the University of Sydney. She is an Associate Professor in the School of Biological Science and has been awarded an Australian Research Council Future Fellow (2013-2016). The focus of her research is the molecular mechanism of photosynthesis driven by red-shifted chlorophylls, biosynthetic pathway of those chlorophylls and their photo-regulatory mechanisms. The important outcomes of her research include:
•    Discovery of the most-red-shifted chlorophyll, chlorophyll f to date
•    Determine the new type of enzyme involved in chlorophyll biosynthesis
•    Novel structure of chlorophyll-binding protein complexes
•    Ecological adaptation of red-shifted chlorophylls and their containing organisms

Selected publications

  1. Chen M (2014) Chlorophyll modification and their spectral extension in oxygenic photosynthesis, Annual Review of Biochemistry (in press, http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/ annurev-biochem-072711-162943).
  2. Chen M and Blankenship RB (2011) Expanding the solar spectrum used by photosynthesis, Trends in Plant Science (accepted on March 11, 2011). http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tplants.2011.03.011  PMID unknown  
  3. Chen M, Schliep M, Willows R,  Cai Z-L, Neilan BA and Scheer H (2010) A red-shifted chlorophyll, Science  329:1718-1719; published online 19 August 2010. http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1191127  PMID: 20724585
  4. Schliep M, Crossett B, Willows RD and Chen M (2010) 18O-labelling of chlorophyll d in acaryochloris marina reveal chlorophyll a and molecular oxygen are precursors, J. Bio. Chem. 285:28450-28456. http://dx.doi.org/jbc.M110.146753  PMID: 20610399
  5. Chen M, Floetenmeyer M and Bibby TS (2009) Supramolecular organization of phycobiliproteins in the chlorophyll d-containing cyanobacterium Acaryochloris marina, FEBS Lett. 583: 2535-2539. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.febslet.2009.07.012  PMID: 19596002
  6. Swingley WD, Chen M, Cheung PC, et al (25 co-authors) (2008) Genome expansion in the chlorophyll d-producing cyanobacterium Acaryochloris marina, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 105:2005-2010. http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0709772105  PMID: 18252824
  7. Chen M, Hiller RG, Howe CJ and Larkum AWD (2005) Unique origin and lateral transfer of prokaryotic chlorophyll-b and chlorophyll d light-harvesting systems, Mol. Biol. Evol. 22:21-28. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msh250  PMID: 15356274
  8. Chen M, Eggink L, Hoober JK and Larkum AWD (2005) Influence of structure on binding of chlorophylls to peptide ligands, J. Amer. Chem. Soc. 127:2052-2053. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ja043462b PMID: 15713076
  9. Chen M, Bibby TS, Nield J, Larkum AWD and Barber J (2005) Iron deficiency induces a chlorophyll d-binding Pcb antenna system around Photosystem I in Acaryochloris marina, Biochim. Biophys. Acta-Bioenergetics 1708:367–374. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbabio.2005.05.007  PMID: 15975547
  10. Chen M, Quinnell RG and Larkum AWD (2002) The major light-harvesting pigment protein of Acaryochloris marina, FEBS Lett. 514:149-152. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0014-5793(02)02315-3  PMID: 11943141