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Sigal Lechno-Yossef

Research Assistant Professor

Kerfeld Lab member
sigall@msu.edu

Research: Basic and applied aspects of cyanobacterial biology

I’m interested in studying the basic and applied aspects of cyanobacterial biology, using molecular techniques. Cyanobacteria recognized as the ancestors of plant chloroplasts, have been extensively studied as simple models for analysis of photosynthesis. However, it is now recognized that cyanobacteria have numerous pathways that differ from those in plants, and that might be exploited to improve plants or to produce compounds of commercial interest.

While working with Prof. C. P. Wolk, I studied differentiation of vegetative cells to nitrogen-fixing cells called heterocysts in Anabaenasp. PCC 7120. We applied our basic understanding of heterocyst biology toward producing hydrogen as a commodity.

With Prof. Cheryl Kerfeld and Prof. Beronda Montgomery, I am now involved in basic and applied study of carbon assimilation and photoprotection in a different cyanobacterium, Fremyella diplosiphon. By combining molecular and biochemical approaches, we can now overexpress and purify proteins from their native host enabling insights that cannot be obtained when expressing the same proteins heterologously in E. coli.

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Education

  • PhD 2002, Biology, Renesselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • MSc 1994, Plant Biology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • BSc 1992, Agriculture, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Links

Publications

Lechno-Yossef News

Identifying a cyanobacterial gene family that helps control photosynthesis Identifying a cyanobacterial gene family that helps control photosynthesis September 30, 2019

The new gene family helps control carbon dioxide fixation, which is the first step towards making high-energy molecules that feed the planet's organisms. 

Turning the evolutionary clock back on a light-sensitive protein Turning the evolutionary clock back on a light-sensitive protein September 19, 2017

Scientists show how the two OCP parts interact and also create new synthetic versions of that protein. The goal is to use it in synthetic healthcare systems, powered by light.

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