Skip to main content

Martin Jonikas is fascinated by the massive scale at which photosynthetic organisms perform chemistry. Jonikas and his team seek to advance our basic understanding of these organisms, driven both by curiosity and by the prospect of enabling a more sustainable future. A major research focus is the pyrenoid, a mysterious phase-separated algal organelle that mediates approximately one-third of global CO2 fixation. They seek to understand the principles of pyrenoid biogenesis and function, with the ultimate goal of engineering a pyrenoid into crops to dramatically enhance yields. The team applies a broad range of approaches spanning genetics, cell biology, and in vitro reconstitution; where needed, they develop new tools and resources.