About Professor Min Chen

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

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

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 a 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