Foto del docente

Francesca Sparla

Associate Professor

Department of Pharmacy and Biotechnology

Academic discipline: BIO/04 Plant Physiology


Keywords: intrinsically unstructured proteins thioredoxin guard cell supramolecular complexes starch

Studies on regulation of Calvin cycle
In higher plant photosynthetic carbon assimilation reduce carbon dioxide to carbohydrate via 12 enzymes, all localized in chloroplast stroma. Overall the Calvin cycle is a fine tuning metabolism, able to quickly responds to external and internal stimuli, such as light and oxidative stress, respectively.
Our scientific interest is turned towards the understanding of post-translational regulatory mechanisms which occur both through the modification of protein thiols and through the formation of supramolecular complexes.

Starch metabolism
The aim of the research is to contribute to the understanding of starch metabolism. It is well documented that primary starch is accumulated in chloroplast stroma during the day and degraded during the subsequent night to fuel the whole organism. Through a combinatory use of biochemical, genetic and molecular biological approaches, applied on the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, this work importantly contributes to the comprehension of the regulation of such metabolism.