George Espie

Professor Emeritus


Microbial physiology, molecular biology, biochemistry and photosynthesis. Current research is directed towards: identifying the molecular components essential to the CO2 - concentrating mechanism of aquatic, photosynthetic microorganisms; defining the role of carbonic anhydrase in photosynthesis; acquiring an understanding of the biochemical mechanisms involved in the active transport of CO2 and HCO3-; regulation of expression of the CO2/HCO3- transport systems and the control of photosynthetic electron transport by CO2/HCO3-.Using molecular and biochemical tools, we are analysing the structure, assembly and protein targeting to carboxysomes, the unique CO2 fixing compartment of cyanobacteria. We have recently discovered a mitochondrial-driven HCO3- transport system that supports photosynthesis in a eukaryotic marine alga and this has sparked investigations into the interactions between mitochondria and chloroplasts during photosynthesis.



  • So, A. K.-C., G. S. Espie, E. Williams, S. Heinhorst, J.M. Shively and G.C. Cannon 2004. A novel Evolutionary Lineage of Carbonic Anhydrase ( class) is a component of the Carboxysome Shell. Journal of Bacteriol 186: 623-630.
  • Huertas I.E., B.Colman and G.S. Espie 2002. Mitochondrial-driven bicarbonate transport supports photosynthesis in a marine microalga. Plant Physiology 130: 284-291.
  • So, A.K-C., M. John-McKay and G.S. Espie 2002. Characterization of a mutant lacking carboxysomal carbonic anhydrase from the cyanobacterium Synechocystis PCC6803. Planta 214: 456-467.
  • Huertas, I.E., B. Colman and G.S. Espie 2002. Inorganic carbon acquisition and its energization in eustigmatophyte algae. Functional Plant Biology 29: 271 - 277.
  • So, A.K-C. and G.S.Espie. 1998. Cloning, characterization and expression of carbonic anhydrase from the cyanobacterium Synechocystis PCC 6803. Plant Molecular Biology 37: 205-215.