Concordia University


William Zerges, PhD

Professor, Biology

Office: L-SP 445-07 
Richard J. Renaud Science Complex,
7141 Sherbrooke W.
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 3416


PhD (Princeton)

Research interests

We are investigating cell biological processes in the chloroplast of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. This unicellular green alga is a popular model organism for research of chloroplast biogenesis and photosynthesis. We have identified two novel chloroplast compartments with intriguingly similarities to the endoplasmic reticulum and stress granules.

Another project is studying translational control in the chloroplast.

Teaching activities

Cell Physiology
Advanced Genetics

Selected publications

Joerg Nickelsen and William Zerges. (2013) Thylakoid biogenesis has joined the new era of bacterial cell biology. Frontiers in Plant Science. 2013 Nov 13;4:458.

Simon, D.F., Domingos, R.F., Hauser C., Hutchins, C.M., Zerges W., K.J Wilkinson. (2013) RNA-Seq analysis of the effects of metal nanoparticle exposure on the transcriptome of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Applied Environmental Microbiology 79(16) 4774-85.

Bohne, A.-V., Schwarz, C., Schottkowski, M., Lidschreiber, M., Piotrowski, M., Zerges, W. and Nickelsen, J. (2013). Reciprocal regulation of protein synthesis and carbon metabolism for thylakoid membrane biogenesis. PLoS Biology. 2013 11 (2): 1-18 (Highlighted in Nature Chemical Biology's News &Views April 2013.)

B. L. Weis, E. Schleiff, and W. Zerges (2013) Protein targeting to subcellular organelles via mRNA localization. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta- Molecular Cell Research 1833; 260-273.

Schottkowski, M, M. Peters, Yu Zhan, O. Rifai, Y. Zhang, and W. Zerges (2012) Biogenic membranes of the chloroplast in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences U S A 109(47):19286-19291.

Hutchins, C.M, Simon, DF, Zerges, W. and KJ Wilkinson. (2010) Transcriptomic signatures in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii as Cd biomarkers in metal mixtures. Aquatic Toxicology 100(1):120-

Uniacke, J. and W. Zerges. 2009. Chloroplast protein targeting involves localized translation in Chlamydomonas. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences U S A 106(5):1349-44.

Simon DF, Descombes P, Zerges W, Wilkinson KJ. (2008) Global expression profiling of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii exposed to trace levels of free cadmium. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. 27(8):1668‐75.

Uniacke, J. and W. Zerges (2008) Stress induces the assembly of RNA granules in the chloroplast of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Journal of Cell Biology 182(4):641‐6. Uniacke, J. and W. Zerges (2007) "Photosystem II Assembly and Repair Are Differentially Localized in Chlamydomonas." The Plant Cell 19(11): 3640‐54.

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