My research focuses on plant proteases as well as the possibility to use Nordic microalgae for wastewater reclamation and biomass generation.
Starting out from research on photosynthesis the focus of my work currently is on two different subjects:
- The function of plant proteases
- The potential of Nordic microalgae for wastewater reclamation and biomass generation
Proteases are proteins that break down other proteins. They are involved in many different biological functions, e.g. the digestion of our food, cleaning the cell from malfunctioning proteins or cell signaling. Even though hundreds of proteases are encoded in the genomes of various plants, their biological roles are mostly unknown. Using molecular biological and biochemical methods, we try to find identify the function of some of them. Our model organisms range from cyanobacteria over algae to higher plants.
Photosynthesis is a process where sunlight is highly efficiently converted into chemical energy and carbon dioxid from the air is diminished! We let microalgae perform photosynthesis and at the same time clean wastewater. The algal biomass then can be used for biofuel, biogas, biofertilizer or even bioplastic. Our challenge is the sub-arctic climate we have in Northern Sweden with low temperatures and short day lengths. Therefore we investigate the potential of local, natural algal strains. We test their performance in cleaning wastewater, analyze their biomass and investigate, how to prolong their growth phase.
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