Miriam Izzo and Joanna Kargul
University of Warsaw, Poland
Posters & Accepted Abstracts: J Fundam Renewable Energy Appl
Now-a-days the world produces energy primarily from fossil fuels. However, these are predicted to be exhausted
by the end of the century. The main challenge for the present civilization is to create innovative technologies
aiming at fulfilling the increasing energy consumption while at the same time reducing the carbon footprint. The
production of high-efficiency biohybrid photoelectrodes is a highly promising approach to meet these challenges.
This project focuses on the production of solar fuels by the construction of biohybrid photoelectrodes of increased
efficiency compared to the present day biophotovoltaic technologies. The device will be composed of graphene
substrate and robust (photo) electroactive proteins (photosystem I and cytochrome c553) to combine them into an
entire fuel cell that would use water as a source of photo generated electrons and protons. The aim of the current
project is to improve the direct electron transfer within a novel class of biophotoelectrodes. One protein of choice
as the biocomponents is cytochrome c553, the soluble electron donor to the photo-oxidized reaction centre of
photosystem I. A library of novel His-tagged cyt c553 variants is currently genetically engineered to contain 7-amino
acid peptide linkers, optimized for Gibbs free energy levels, at carboxyl terminus between the cyt holoprotein and a
His6-tag. The peptide linkers will allow for optimization of both distance and orientation of the redox-active heme
center of cyt c553, ultimately leading to improved DET and better cathodic photocurrent output. The second device
will generate anodic photocurrent by using modified His-PsaD-PSI as the photoelectroactive protein layer. Here,
we show the results of the genetic engineering, as well as the biochemical expression and purification of the above
mentioned protein components of the biophotocathodes and biophotoanodes that ultimately will be incorporated
in full solar-to-fuel devices.
1. Mazor Y, Borovikova A, Caspy I and Nelson N (2017) Structure of the plant photosystem I supercomplex at 2.6 angstrom resolution. Nature Plants 3:17014â??17014.
2. Kargul J, Janna Olmos J D and Krupnik T (2012) Structure and Function of Photosystem I and its application in biomimetic solar-to-fuel systems. Journal of Plant Physiology 6:1639â??1653.
Miriam Izzo is a PhD student at faculty of Biology at University of Warsaw. Her work is focused on the photocurrent and solar fuel generation by nano structuring of robust photosystem I from Cyanidioschyzon merolae on semiconductive electrode materials. Currently, she is the PI of DSM grant 2018/2019.