2023-2024 / BIOC0709-4



20h Th

Number of credits

 Master in bio-informatics and modelling (120 ECTS)3 crédits 
 Master in biochemistry and molecular and cell biology (120 ECTS)3 crédits 


Pierre Cardol


Pierre Cardol

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

Attention, suite à la réforme du master 2023_2024, ce cours n'est plus donné en présentiel et accessible uniquement aux étudiants répétants.

General introduction; energy in biochemical processes


Conversion of light energy to chemical energy:

  • The first expriments of Emerson on photosynthesis: oxygen quantum yield and photosynthetic units
  • The interaction of light with photosynthetic pigments; energy levels
  • Deactivation processes of the excited state of chlorophyll; energy transfer and photochemistry
  • Two photosystems: the 'red drop' effect: lateral distribution of photosystems in thylakoids
  • Structure and function of photosynthetic reaction centers: general aspects; features of photosystem I and II reaction centers
  • Organisation of photosystems and light-harvesting complexes
  • Structure and function of cytochrome b6/f; analogy with mitochondrial complex III
  • Linear and cyclic electron transport
  • Secondary pathways of electron transport
  • Carbon reduction and photorespiration

Oxidative phosphorylation and trans-membrane transport of metabolites:

  • History and recalls: energetic catabolism
  • The chemiosmotic theory: trans-membrane electrochemical gradient and photophosphorylation; the Mitchell hypothesis and basic experiments
  • Mechanisms of electron transfers and of proton translocation in the respiratory chain
  • Structure, composition, function and properties of respiratory complexes
  • Respiratory control and energy dissipating systems in the mitochondria
  • Structure, mechanism and function of ATP synthases
  • Transfer of metabolites and ions through membranes: process diversity, structure and function of principal ionic exchangers
  • Experimental methods to measure trans-membrane proton electrochemical gradients: lipophilic cations and electrochromic shift


Learning outcomes of the learning unit

Understanding of thermodynamial aspects of energetic metabolism at the organite and cell level
Acquisition of experimental and conceptual processes for scientific knowledge development  in the fields of bioenergetics
Knowledge of energetic and mechanistic aspects of biological processes:

  • of light excitation energy transformation
  • of energetic coupling
  • of conversion of redox energy into phosphate bound hydrolysis energy
  • of trans-membrane metabolite transport
Capacity for apprehending structure-function relationships for proteic complexes
Capacity for solving problems that involve different forms of biochemical energy

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

cell metabolism; general notions of protein structure

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Lectures; exercises

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)


Recommended or required readings

Course notes or Power Point presentations

Any session :

- In-person

written exam ( multiple-choice questionnaire, open-ended questions )

- Remote

written exam ( multiple-choice questionnaire, open-ended questions )

- If evaluation in "hybrid"

preferred in-person

Additional information:

First session:
written exam including two multichoice tests (40 %) and three open-ended questions (60 %)
Second session:
written exam including two multichoice tests (40 %) and three open-ended questions (60 %)

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course


Prof. Fabrice FRANCK: Laboratoire de Bioénergétique, B22, Tel: 043663904, email: F.Franck@ulg.ac.be
Dr. Pierre CARDOL: Laboratoire de Génétique et Physiologie des Microalgues, B22, Tel: 043663840, email: pierre.cardol@ulg.ac.be

Association of one or more MOOCs