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My research deals with the properties of the chloroplast lipids and how they interact with proteins. One major objective is to understand the reason for the formation of the prolamellar body, a cubic membrane structure formed in etioplasts. Another is to elucidate the functions of the different lipids in the photosynthetic membrane.
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Prolamellar body membranes in etioplasts of Arabidopsis.
The chloroplast and etioplast membranes differ in protein composition, but have the same characteristic lipid composition, with a large proportion of galactolipids and minor amounts of phospholipids and a sulpholipid. Approximately 50 % of the lipids are monogalactocyl diacylglycerols (MGDG), which form a reversed hexagonal phase with water, while the other lipids form a lamellar phase. This means that the plastid membranes have a lipid composition that is destabilised by high lateral pressure in the hydrophobic region. My interest is to find out if this physical property has an impact on the structure and function of the plastid membranes.
Recently we found that in a lipid mutant of Arabidopsis, where the content of MGDG has increased to over 60% of wild type level, the photosystem I protein complex was unstable. This instability was due to too high a concentrations of MGDG.
The ‘cubic’ prolamellar body membrane is also dependent on the lipid composition since, in a lipid phase diagram a cubic phase is stable between a lamellar and a reversed hexagonal phase. In light, the prolamellar body is transformed to a normal lamellar chloroplast membrane, the thylakoid. In vitro, we have been able to transform the prolamellar body and then reassemble it again. This means that we now can find out what factors are of vital importance for formation of the prolamellar body.
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Key publications

Williams, W.P., Selstam, E., Brain, T. Bras, W. & Bennett, P. 1998 X-ray diffraction studies of the struactural organisation of prolamellar bodies isolated from Zea mays. FEBS Lett 422:252-254

Selstam E, Schelin J, Brain, T & Williams, WP. 2002. The effects of low pH on the properties of protochlorophyllide oxidoreductase and the organisation of prolamellar bodies of maize (Zea mays). Eur. J. Biochem. 269:2336-2346.

Selstam E, Schelin J Williams, WP and Brain, T. 2007. Structural organisation of prolamellar bodies isolated from Zea mays. Parallel TEM, SAX and absorption spectra measurments on samples subjected to freeze-thaw, reduced pH and high-salt perturburation. Biochim. Biophys. Acta1768:2235-2245.

Ivanov AG, Hendrickson L, Krol M, Selstam E, Oquist G, Hurry V and Huner NPA. 2006 Digalactosyl-diacylglycerol deficiency impairs the capacity for photosyntetic intersys- tem electron transport and state transitionsin Arabidopsis thaliana due to photosystem I acceptor-side limitations. Plant Cell Physiol. 47:1146-1157.

Hendrickson L,Vlcková A, Selstam E, Huner N, Oquist G and Hurry V. 2006. Cold acclimation of the Arabidopsis dgd1 mutant results in recovery from photosystem I-limited photosynthesis. FEBS Lett 580:4959-4968.

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Publication list

  1. Subcellular Localization of Carotenoid Biosynthesis in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803
    PLoS One. 2015, 10(6):e0130904
  2. Aberrant Fat Metabolism in Caenorhabditis elegans Mutants with Defects in the Defecation Motor Program
    PLoS One. 2015, 10(4):e0124515
  3. Selstam E, Brain AP, Williams WP
    The relationship between different spectral forms of the protochlorophyllide oxidoreductase complex and the structural organisation of prolamellar bodies isolated from Zea mays
    Photosynthesis Research: 2011 108:47-59
  4. Szilágyi A, Selstam E, Åkerlund H-E
    Laurdan fluorescence spectroscopy in the thylakoid bilayer: The effect of violaxanthin to zeaxanthin conversion on the galactolipid dominated lipid environment
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Biomembranes: 2008 1778:348-355
  5. Selstam E, Schelin J, Williams WP, Brain APR
    Structural organisation of prolamellar bodies (PLB) isolated from Zea mays. Parallel TEM, SAXS and absorption spectra measurements on samples subjected to freeze-thaw, reduced pH and high-salt perturbation.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta: 2007 1768:2235-2245
  6. Ivanov AG, Krol M, Selstam E, Sane PV, Sveshnikov D, Park Y-I, Öquist G, Huner NPA
    The induction of CP43' by iron-stress in Synechococcus sp. PCC 7942 is associated with carotenoid accumulation and enhanced fatty acid unsaturation
    Biochimica & Biophysica Acta: 2007 1767:807-813
  7. Ivanov AG, Krol M., Sveshnikov D, Selstam E, Sandström S, Koochek M., Park Y-I, Vasil'ev S, Bruce D, Öquist G, Huner NPA
    Iron deficiency in cyanobacteria causes monomerization of photosystem I trimers and reduces the capacity for state transitions and the effective absorption cross section of photosystem I in vivo
    Plant Physiology: 2006 141:1436-1445
  8. Hendrickson L, Vlckova A, Selstam E, Huner N, Oquist G, Hurry V
    Cold acclimation of the Arabidopsis dgd1 mutant results in recovery from photosystem I-limited photosynthesis
    Febs Letters: 2006 580:4959-4968
  9. Ivanov AG, Hendrickson L, Krol M, Selstam E, Oquist G, Hurry V, Huner NPA
    Digalactosyl-diacylglycerol deficiency impairs the capacity for photosynthetic intersystem electron transport and state transitions in Arabidopsis thaliana due to photosystem I acceptor-side limitations
    Plant and Cell Physiology: 2006 47:1146-1157
  10. Selstam E, Schelin J, Brain T, Williams WP
    The effects of low pH on the properties of protochlorophyllide oxidoreductase and the organization of prolamellar bodies of maize (Zea mays)
    Eur J Biochem: 2002 269:2336-2346
  11. Seyedi M, Selstam E, Timko MP, Sundqvist C
    The cytokinin 2-isopentenyladenine causes partial reversion to skotomorphogenesis and induces formation of prolamellar bodies and protochlorophyllide(657) in the lip1 mutant of pea
    Physiologia Plantarum: 2001 112:261-272
  12. Skorzynska-Polit E, Tukendorf A, Selstam E, Baszynski T
    Calcium modifies Cd effect on runner bean plants
    Environmental and Experimental Botany: 1998 40:275-286
  13. Williams WP, Selstam E, Brain T
    X-ray diffraction studies of the structural organisation of prolamellar bodies isolated from Zea mays
    FEBS Lett: 1998 422:252-254
  14. Andersson A, Wallberg P, Nordback J, Bergqvist PA, Selstam E
    Effect of nutrient enrichment on the distribution and sedimentation of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in seawater
    Hydrobiologia: 1998 377:45-56
  15. Porankiewicz J, Selstam E, Campbell D, Oquist G
    Membrane lipid composition and restoration of photosynthesis during low temperature acclimation in Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7942
    Physiologia Plantarum: 1998 104:405-412
  16. Selstam E, Campbell D
    Membrane lipid composition of the unusual cyanobacterium Gloeobacter violaceus sp PCC 7421, which lacks sulfoquinovosyl diacylglycerol
    Archives of Microbiology: 1996 166:132-135
  17. Birve SJ, Selstam E, Johansson LBA
    Secondary structure of NADPH:protochlorophyllide oxidoreductase examined by circular dichroism and prediction methods
    Biochemical Journal: 1996 317:549-555
  18. Selstam E
    The Assembly of the Prolamellar Body Membrane
    Biologicheskie Membrany: 1994 11:249-252
  19. Andersson A, Selstam E, Hagstrom A
    Vertical Transport of Lipid in Seawater
    Marine Ecology-Progress Series: 1993 98:149-155
  20. Wingsle G, Mattson A, Ekblad A, Hallgren JE, Selstam E
    Activities of Glutathione-Reductase and Superoxide-Dismutase in Relation to Changes of Lipids and Pigments Due to Ozone in Seedlings of Pinus-Sylvestris (L)
    Plant Science: 1992 82:167-178
  21. Jansson S, Selstam E, Gustafsson P
    The Rapidly Phosphorylated 25-Kda Polypeptide of the Light-Harvesting Complex of Photosystem-Ii Is Encoded by the Type-2 Cab-Ii Genes
    Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta: 1990 1019:110-114
  22. Widell-Wigge A, Selstam E
    Effects of Salt Wash on the Structure of the Prolamellar Body Membrane and the Membrane-Binding of Nadph-Protochlorophyllide Oxidoreductase
    Physiologia Plantarum: 1990 78:315-323
  23. Selstam E, Oquist G
    Galactolipid Biosynthesis in Chloroplasts of Nonhardened and Frost-Hardened Seedlings of Scots Pine
    Plant Physiology and Biochemistry: 1990 28:477-483
  24. Selstam E, Widellwigge A
    Hydrophobicity of Protochlorophyllide Oxidoreductase, Characterized by Means of Triton X-114 Partitioning of Isolated Etioplast Membrane-Fractions
    Physiologia Plantarum: 1989 77:401-406
  25. Selstam E
    Seasonal-Variation in Membrane and Storage Lipids of Scots Pine Needles
    Physiologia Plantarum: 1988 73:A6-A6
  26. Widell A, Selstam E
    Ionic Effects on the Prolamellar Body Structure and Protochlorophyllide Oxidoreductase
    Physiologia Plantarum: 1988 73:A19-A19
  27. Wieslander A, Selstam E
    Acyl-Chain-Dependent Incorporation of Chlorophyll and Cholesterol in Membranes of Acholeplasma-Laidlawii
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta: 1987 901:250-254
  28. Selstam E, Widell A, Johansson LBA
    A Comparison of Prolamellar Bodies from Wheat, Scots Pine and Jeffrey Pine - Pigment Spectra and Properties of Protochlorophyllide Oxidoreductase
    Physiologia Plantarum: 1987 70:209-214
  29. Selstam E, Widell A
    Characterization of Prolamellar Bodies, from Dark-Grown Seedlings of Scots Pine, Containing Light-Dependent and Nadph-Dependent Protochlorophyllide Oxidoreductase
    Physiologia Plantarum: 1986 67:345-352
  30. Thore M, Lofgren S, Tarnvik A, Monsen T, Selstam E, Burman LG
    Anaerobic phagocytosis, killing, and degradation of Streptococcus pneumoniae by human peripheral blood leukocytes
    Infect Immun: 1985 47:277-281
  31. Selstam E, Oquist G
    Effects of Frost Hardening on the Composition of Galactolipids and Phospholipids Occurring During Isolation of Chloroplast Thylakoids from Needles of Scots Pine
    Plant Science: 1985 42:41-48