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Photosynthesis Research - Current Research Articles



Current research articles: Photosynthesis

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Photosynthesis Research - published by Springer

... is an international journal open to papers of merit dealing with both basic and applied aspects of photosynthesis.




Current articles of the journal:



The roles of C-terminal residues on the thermal stability and local heme environment of cytochrome c’ from the thermophilic purple sulfur bacterium Thermochromatium tepidum

Abstract

A soluble cytochrome (Cyt) c’ from thermophilic purple sulfur photosynthetic bacterium Thermochromatium (Tch.) tepidum exhibits marked thermal tolerance compared with that from the closely related mesophilic counterpart Allochromatium vinosum. Here, we focused on the difference in the C-terminal region of the two Cyts c’ and examined the effects of D131 and R129 mutations on the thermal stability and local heme environment of Cyt c’ by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and resonance Raman (RR) spectroscopy. In the oxidized forms, D131K and D131G mutants exhibited denaturing temperatures significantly lower than that of the recombinant control Cyt c’. In contrast, R129K and R129A mutants denatured at nearly identical temperatures with the control Cyt c’, indicating that the C-terminal D131 is an important residue maintaining the enhanced thermal stability of Tch. tepidum Cyt c’. The control Cyt c’ and all of the mutants increased their thermal stability upon the reduction. Interestingly, D131K exhibited narrow DSC curves and unusual thermodynamic parameters in both redox states. The RR spectra of the control Cyt c’ exhibited characteristic bands at 1,635 and 1,625 cm?1, ascribed to intermediate spin (IS) and high spin (HS) states, respectively. The IS/HS distribution was differently affected by the D131 and R129 mutations and pH changes. Furthermore, R129 mutants suggested the lowering of their redox potentials. These results strongly indicate that the D131 and R129 residues play significant roles in maintaining the thermal stability and modulating the local heme environment of Tch. tepidum Cyt c’.

Posted on 18 December 2014 | 1:00 am


Challenges of metagenomics and single-cell genomics approaches for exploring cyanobacterial diversity

Abstract

Cyanobacteria have played a crucial role in the history of early earth and continue to be instrumental in shaping our planet, yet applications of cutting edge technology have not yet been widely used to explore cyanobacterial diversity. To provide adequate background, we briefly review current sequencing technologies and their innovative uses in genomics and metagenomics. Next, we focus on current cell capture technologies and the challenges of using them with cyanobacteria. We illustrate the utility in coupling breakthroughs in DNA amplification with cell capture platforms, with an example of microfluidic isolation and subsequent targeted amplicon sequencing from individual terrestrial thermophilic cyanobacteria. Single cells of thermophilic, unicellular Synechococcus sp. JA-2-3-B?a(2-13) (Syn OS-B?) were sorted in a microfluidic device, lysed, and subjected to whole genome amplification by multiple displacement amplification. We amplified regions from specific CRISPR spacer arrays, which are known to be highly diverse, contain semi-palindromic repeats which form secondary structure, and can be difficult to amplify. Cell capture, lysis, and genome amplification on a microfluidic device have been optimized, setting a stage for further investigations of individual cyanobacterial cells isolated directly from natural populations.

Posted on 17 December 2014 | 1:00 am


Temperature responses of the Rubisco maximum carboxylase activity across domains of life: phylogenetic signals, trade-offs, and importance for carbon gain

Abstract

Temperature response of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) catalytic properties directly determines the CO2 assimilation capacity of photosynthetic organisms as well as their survival in environments with different thermal conditions. Despite unquestionable importance of Rubisco, the comprehensive analysis summarizing temperature responses of Rubisco traits across lineages of carbon-fixing organisms is lacking. Here, we present a review of the temperature responses of Rubisco carboxylase specific activity ( \(k_{\text{cat}}^{\text{c}}\) ) within and across domains of life. In particular, we consider the variability of temperature responses, and their ecological, physiological, and evolutionary controls. We observed over two-fold differences in the energy of activation (?H a) among different groups of photosynthetic organisms, and found significant differences between C3 plants from cool habitats, C3 plants from warm habitats and C4 plants. According to phylogenetically independent contrast analysis, ?H a was not related to the species optimum growth temperature (T growth), but was positively correlated with Rubisco specificity factor (S c/o) across all organisms. However, when only land plants were analyzed, ?H a was positively correlated with both T growth and S c/o, indicating different trends for these traits in plants versus unicellular aquatic organisms, such as algae and bacteria. The optimum temperature (T opt) for \(k_{\text{cat}}^{\text{c}}\) correlated with S c/o for land plants and for all organisms pooled, but the effect of T growth on T opt was driven by species phylogeny. The overall phylogenetic signal was significant for all analyzed parameters, stressing the importance of considering the evolutionary framework and accounting for shared ancestry when deciphering relationships between Rubisco kinetic parameters. We argue that these findings have important implications for improving global photosynthesis models.

Posted on 17 December 2014 | 1:00 am


Orientation of B798 BChl a Q y transition dipoles in Chloroflexus aurantiacus chlorosomes: polarized transient absorption spectroscopy studies

Abstract

Isotropic and anisotropic pump-probe spectra of Cfx. aurantiacus chlorosomes were measured on the fs-through ps-time scales for the B798 BChl a Q y band upon direct excitation of the B798 band at T = 293 K and T = 90 K. Upon direct excitation of the B798 band, the anisotropy parameter value r(?) was constant within the whole BChl a Q y band at any delay time at both temperatures. The value of the anisotropy parameter r decayed from r = 0.4 at both temperatures (at 200 fs delay time after excitation) to the steady-state values r = 0.1 at T = 293 K and to r = 0.09 at T = 90 K (at 30 ÷ 100 ps delay time after excitation). The results were considered within the framework of the model of uniaxial orientation distribution of BChl-a transition dipoles within a single Cfx. aurantiacus chlorosome. This implies that the B798 BChl a Q y transition dipoles, randomly distributed around the normal to the baseplate plane, form the angle ? with the plane. For this model, the theoretical dependence of the steady-state anisotropy parameter r on the angle ? was derived. According to the theoretical dependence r(?), the angle ? corresponding to the experimental steady-state value r = 0.1 at T = 293 K was found to equal 55°. As the temperature drops to 90 K, the angle ? decreases to 54°.

Posted on 17 December 2014 | 1:00 am


A fresh look at the evolution and diversification of photochemical reaction centers

Abstract

In this review, I reexamine the origin and diversification of photochemical reaction centers based on the known phylogenetic relations of the core subunits, and with the aid of sequence and structural alignments. I show, for example, that the protein folds at the C-terminus of the D1 and D2 subunits of Photosystem II, which are essential for the coordination of the water-oxidizing complex, were already in place in the most ancestral Type II reaction center subunit. I then evaluate the evolution of reaction centers in the context of the rise and expansion of the different groups of bacteria based on recent large-scale phylogenetic analyses. I find that the Heliobacteriaceae family of Firmicutes appears to be the earliest branching of the known groups of phototrophic bacteria; however, the origin of photochemical reaction centers and chlorophyll synthesis cannot be placed in this group. Moreover, it becomes evident that the Acidobacteria and the Proteobacteria shared a more recent common phototrophic ancestor, and this is also likely for the Chloroflexi and the Cyanobacteria. Finally, I argue that the discrepancies among the phylogenies of the reaction center proteins, chlorophyll synthesis enzymes, and the species tree of bacteria are best explained if both types of photochemical reaction centers evolved before the diversification of the known phyla of phototrophic bacteria. The primordial phototrophic ancestor must have had both Type I and Type II reaction centers.

Posted on 16 December 2014 | 1:00 am


Connectivity of the intracytoplasmic membrane of Rhodobacter sphaeroides : a functional approach

Abstract

The photosynthetic apparatus in the bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides is mostly present in intracytoplasmic membrane invaginations. It has long been debated whether these invaginations remain in topological continuity with the cytoplasmic membrane, or form isolated chromatophore vesicles. This issue is revisited here by functional approaches. The ionophore gramicidin was used as a probe of the relative size of the electro-osmotic units in isolated chromatophores, spheroplasts, or intact cells. The decay of the membrane potential was monitored from the electrochromic shift of carotenoids. The half-time of the decay induced by a single channel in intact cells was about 6 ms, thus three orders of magnitude slower than in isolated chromatophores. In spheroplasts obtained by lysis of the cell wall, the single channel decay was still slower (~23 ms) and the sensitivity toward the gramicidin concentration was enhanced 1,000-fold with respect to isolated chromatophores. These results indicate that the area of the functional membrane in cells or spheroplasts is about three orders of magnitude larger than that of isolated chromatophores. Intracytoplasmic vesicles, if present, could contribute to at most 10 % of the photosynthetic apparatus in intact cells of Rba. sphaeroides. Similar conclusions were obtained from the effect of a ?pH-induced diffusion potential in intact cells. This caused a large electrochromic response of carotenoids, of similar amplitude as the light-induced change, indicating that most of the system is sensitive to a pH change of the external medium. A single internal membrane and periplasmic space may offer significant advantages concerning renewal of the photosynthetic apparatus and reallocation of the components shared with other bioenergetic pathways.

Posted on 16 December 2014 | 1:00 am


The L(M196)H mutation in Rhodobacter sphaeroides reaction center results in new electrostatic interactions

Abstract

New histidine residue was introduced in M196 position in the reaction center of Rhodobacter sphaeroides in order to alter polarity of the BChl dimer’s protein environment and to study how it affects properties and structure of the primary electron donor P. It was shown that in the absorption spectrum of the mutant RC the 6 nm red shift of the Q Y P band was observed together with considerable decrease of its amplitude. The mid-point potential of P/P + in the mutant RC was increased by +65 (±15) mV as compared to the E m P/P + value in the wild-type RC suggesting that the mutation resulted in new pigment–protein interactions. Crystal structure of RC L(M196)H determined at 2.4 Å resolution implies that BChl ? ? and introduced histidine-M196 organize new electrostatic contact that may be specified either as ?–? staking or as hydrogen–? interaction. Besides, the structure of the mutants RC shows that His-M196 apparently became involved in hydrogen bond network existing in BChl ? ? vicinity that may favor stability of the mutant RC.

Posted on 6 December 2014 | 1:00 am


International conference on “photosynthesis research for sustainability-2014: in honor of Vladimir A. Shuvalov”, held on June 2–7, 2014, in Pushchino, Russia

Abstract

In this article, we provide a News Report on an international conference “Photosynthesis Research for Sustainability-2014” that was held in honor of Vladimir A. Shuvalov at the Biological Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences, in Pushchino, Russia, during June 2–7, 2014 (http://photosynthesis2014.cellreg.org/). We begin this report with a short description of Vladimir A. Shuvalov, the honored scientist. We then provide some information on the conference, and the program. A special feature of this conference was awards given to nine young investigators; they are recognized in this Report. We have also included several photographs to show the pleasant ambiance at this conference. We invite the readers to the next two conferences on ‘‘Photosynthesis Research for Sustainability-2015: the first one to be held in Baku in May or June, 2015, and the second one, which will honor George C. Papageorgiou, will be held in Greece (in Colymbari, near Chania in Crete) during September 21–26, 2015. Information will be posted at: http://photosynthesis2015.cellreg.org/.

Posted on 1 December 2014 | 1:00 am


Assessing the poplar photochemical response to high zinc concentrations by image processing and statistical approach

Abstract

Exposure of plants to high-heavy metals concentration inhibits multiple metabolic processes in plants and leads to an oxidative stress commonly referred as heavy metal ion toxicity. Chlorophyll a fluorescence has enhanced understanding of heavy metal ion action on the photosynthetic system. A rapid and non-invasive technique involving imaging of chlorophyll fluorescence is a useful tool for early detection of plant responses to heavy metal ion toxicity. In this work chlorophyll fluorescence emission and photochemical parameters in plants of Populus x euramericana clone I-214 were investigated by the portable Imaging PAM fluorometer at different days after soil treatment with zinc. Custom software for analysis of the photochemical parameters images has been developed in order to gain a better assessing of the plant performance in response of metal stress. The imaging analysis allowed visualizing heterogeneity in plant response to high zinc concentrations. The heterogeneity of images suggests spatial differences in photochemical activity and changes in the antenna down-regulation.

Posted on 1 December 2014 | 1:00 am


High correlation between thermotolerance and photosystem II activity in tall fescue

Abstract

Heat stress affects a broad spectrum of cellular components and metabolism. The objectives of this study were to investigate the behavior of Photosystem II (PSII) in tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb) with various thermotolerance capacities and to broaden our comprehension about the relationship between thermotolerance and PSII function. Heat-tolerant and heat-sensitive accessions were incubated at 24 °C (control) and 46 °C (heat stress) for 5 h. The fluorescence transient curves (OJIP curves), slow Chl fluorescence kinetic, and light response curve were employed to study the behavior of PSII subjected to heat stress. After heat stress, performance index for energy conservation from photons absorbed by PSII antenna until the reduction of PSI acceptors (PITotal), the value of electrons produced per photon (a), and the maximal rate of electron transport (ETRmax) of heat-tolerant accessions were lower than those of heat-sensitive accessions. Relatively lower reactive oxygen species (ROS) contents were detected in heat-tolerant accessions. Simultaneously, there was a significant decline in the quantum yield of photochemical energy conversion in PS II (Y(II)), probability that a PSII Chl molecule functions as reaction center (?RC), and the increase of quantum yield for non-regulated non-photochemical energy loss (Y(NO)) in heat-tolerant accessions. Moreover, a significant inverse correlation between heat tolerance indexes (HTI) and Y(II) was observed. Therefore, maintaining a lower photochemical activity in heat-tolerant accessions could be a crucial strategy to improve their thermotolerance. This finding could be attributed to the structural difference in the reaction center, and for heat-tolerant accessions, it could simultaneously limit energy input into linear electron transport, and dissipate more energy through non-regulated non-photochemical energy loss processes.

Posted on 1 December 2014 | 1:00 am


Constrained geometric dynamics of the Fenna–Matthews–Olson complex: the role of correlated motion in reducing uncertainty in excitation energy transfer

Abstract

The trimeric Fenna–Mathews–Olson (FMO) complex of green sulphur bacteria is a well-studied example of a photosynthetic pigment–protein complex, in which the electronic properties of the pigments are modified by the protein environment to promote efficient excitonic energy transfer from antenna complexes to the reaction centres. By a range of simulation methods, many of the electronic properties of the FMO complex can be extracted from knowledge of the static crystal structure. However, the recent observation and analysis of long-lasting quantum dynamics in the FMO complex point to protein dynamics as a key factor in protecting and generating quantum coherence under laboratory conditions. While fast inter- and intra-molecular vibrations have been investigated extensively, the slow, conformational dynamics which effectively determine the optical inhomogeneous broadening of experimental ensembles has received less attention. The following study employs constrained geometric dynamics to study the flexibility in the protein network by efficiently generating the accessible conformational states from the published crystal structure. Statistical and principle component analyses reveal highly correlated low frequency motions between functionally relevant elements, including strong correlations between pigments that are excitonically coupled. Our analysis reveals a hierarchy of structural interactions which enforce these correlated motions, from the level of monomer-monomer interfaces right down to the ?-helices, ?-sheets and pigments. In addition to inducing strong spatial correlations across the conformational ensemble, we find that the overall rigidity of the FMO complex is exceptionally high. We suggest that these observations support the idea of highly correlated inhomogeneous disorder of the electronic excited states, which is further supported by the remarkably low variance (typically <5 %) of the excitonic couplings of the conformational ensemble.

Posted on 1 December 2014 | 1:00 am


Accounting for the decrease of photosystem photochemical efficiency with increasing irradiance to estimate quantum yield of leaf photosynthesis

Abstract

Maximum quantum yield for leaf CO2 assimilation under limiting light conditions (? CO2LL) is commonly estimated as the slope of the linear regression of net photosynthetic rate against absorbed irradiance over a range of low-irradiance conditions. Methodological errors associated with this estimation have often been attributed either to light absorptance by non-photosynthetic pigments or to some data points being beyond the linear range of the irradiance response, both causing an underestimation of ? CO2LL. We demonstrate here that a decrease in photosystem (PS) photochemical efficiency with increasing irradiance, even at very low levels, is another source of error that causes a systematic underestimation of ? CO2LL. A model method accounting for this error was developed, and was used to estimate ? CO2LL from simultaneous measurements of gas exchange and chlorophyll fluorescence on leaves using various combinations of species, CO2, O2, or leaf temperature levels. The conventional linear regression method under-estimated ? CO2LL by ca. 10–15 %. Differences in the estimated ? CO2LL among measurement conditions were generally accounted for by different levels of photorespiration as described by the Farquhar-von Caemmerer–Berry model. However, our data revealed that the temperature dependence of PSII photochemical efficiency under low light was an additional factor that should be accounted for in the model.

Posted on 1 December 2014 | 1:00 am


Chromophore composition of the phycobiliprotein Cr-PC577 from the cryptophyte Hemiselmis pacifica

Abstract

The cryptophyte phycocyanin Cr-PC577 from Hemiselmis pacifica is a close relative of Cr-PC612 found in Hemiselmis virescens and Hemiselmis tepida. The two biliproteins differ in that Cr-PC577 lacks the major peak at around 612 nm in the absorption spectrum. Cr-PC577 was thus purified and characterized with respect to its bilin chromophore composition. Like other cryptophyte phycobiliproteins, Cr-PC577 is an (??)(???) heterodimer with phycocyanobilin (PCB) bound to the ?-subunits. While one chromophore of the ?-subunit is also PCB, mass spectrometry identified an additional chromophore with a mass of 585 Da at position ?-Cys-158. This mass can be attributed to either a dihydrobiliverdin (DHBV), mesobiliverdin (MBV), or bilin584 chromophore. The doubly linked bilin at position ?-Cys-50 and ?-Cys-61 could not be identified unequivocally but shares spectral features with DHBV. We found that Cr-PC577 possesses a novel chromophore composition with at least two different chromophores bound to the ?-subunit. Overall, our data contribute to a better understanding of cryptophyte phycobiliproteins and furthermore raise the question on the biosynthetic pathway of cryptophyte chromophores.

Posted on 1 December 2014 | 1:00 am


Prasanna K. Mohanty (1934–2013): a great photosynthetiker and a wonderful human being who touched the hearts of many

Abstract

Prasanna K. Mohanty, a great scientist, a great teacher and above all a great human being, left us more than a year ago (on March 9, 2013). He was a pioneer in the field of photosynthesis research; his contributions are many and wide-ranging. In the words of Jack Myers, he would be a “photosynthetiker” par excellence. He remained deeply engaged with research almost to the end of his life; we believe that generations of researchers still to come will benefit from his thorough and enormous work. We present here his life and some of his contributions to the field of Photosynthesis Research. The response to this tribute was overwhelming and we have included most of the tributes, which we received from all over the world. Prasanna Mohanty was a pioneer in the field of “Light Regulation of Photosynthesis”, a loving and dedicated teacher—unpretentious, idealistic, and an honest human being.

Posted on 1 December 2014 | 1:00 am


Assembly of photosynthetic apparatus in Rhodobacter sphaeroides as revealed by functional assessments at different growth phases and in synchronized and greening cells

Abstract

The development of photosynthetic membranes of intact cells of Rhodobacter sphaeroides was tracked by light-induced absorption spectroscopy and induction and relaxation of the bacteriochlorophyll fluorescence. Changes in membrane structure were induced by three methods: synchronization of cell growth, adjustment of different growth phases and transfer from aerobic to anaerobic conditions (greening) of the bacteria. While the production of the bacteriochlorophyll and carotenoid pigments and the activation of light harvesting and reaction center complexes showed cell-cycle independent and continuous increase with characteristic lag phases, the accumulation of phospholipids and membrane potential (electrochromism) exhibited stepwise increase controlled by cell division. Cells in the stationary phase of growth demonstrated closer packing and tighter energetic coupling of the photosynthetic units (PSU) than in their early logarithmic stage. The greening resulted in rapid (within 0–4 h) induction of BChl synthesis accompanied with a dominating role for the peripheral light harvesting system (up to LH2/LH1 ~2.5), significantly increased rate (~7·104 s?1) and yield (F v/F max ~0.7) of photochemistry and modest (~2.5-fold) decrease of the rate of electron transfer (~1.5·104 s?1). The results are discussed in frame of a model of sequential assembly of the PSU with emphasis on crowding the LH2 complexes resulting in an increase of the connectivity and yield of light capture on the one hand and increase of hindrance to diffusion of mobile redox agents on the other hand.

Posted on 1 December 2014 | 1:00 am


Quantifying the effects of light intensity on bioproduction and maintenance energy during photosynthetic growth of Rhodobacter sphaeroides

Abstract

Obtaining a better understanding of the physiology and bioenergetics of photosynthetic microbes is an important step toward optimizing these systems for light energy capture or production of valuable commodities. In this work, we analyzed the effect of light intensity on bioproduction, biomass formation, and maintenance energy during photoheterotrophic growth of Rhodobacter sphaeroides. Using data obtained from steady-state bioreactors operated at varying dilution rates and light intensities, we found that irradiance had a significant impact on biomass yield and composition, with significant changes in photopigment, phospholipid, and biopolymer storage contents. We also observed a linear relationship between incident light intensity and H2 production rate between 3 and 10 W m?2, with saturation observed at 100 W m?2. The light conversion efficiency to H2 was also higher at lower light intensities. Photosynthetic maintenance energy requirements were also significantly affected by light intensity, with links to differences in biomass composition and the need to maintain redox homeostasis. Inclusion of the measured condition-dependent biomass and maintenance energy parameters and the measured photon uptake rate into a genome-scale metabolic model for R. sphaeroides (iRsp1140) significantly improved its predictive performance. We discuss how our analyses provide new insights into the light-dependent changes in bioenergetic requirements and physiology during photosynthetic growth of R. sphaeroides and potentially other photosynthetic organisms.

Posted on 27 November 2014 | 1:00 am


Gordon research conference on photosynthesis: from evolution of fundamental mechanisms to radical re-engineering

Abstract

We provide here a News Report on the 2014 Gordon Research Conference on Photosynthesis, with the subtitle “From Evolution of Fundamental Mechanisms to Radical Re-Engineering.” It was held at Mount Snow Resort, West Dover, Vermont, during August 10–15, 2014. After the formal sessions ended, four young scientists (Ute Ambruster of USA; Han Bao of USA; Nicoletta Liguori of the Netherlands; and Anat Shperberg-Avni of Israel) were recognized for their research; they each received a book from one of us (G) in memory of Colin A. Wraight (1945–2014), a brilliant and admired scientist who had been very active in the bioenergetics field in general and in past Gordon Conferences in particular, having chaired the 1988 Gordon Conference on Photosynthesis. (See an article on Wraight by one of us (Govindjee) at http://www.life.illinois.edu/plantbio/Features/ColinWraight/ColinWraight.html.)

Posted on 26 November 2014 | 1:00 am


Bioinformatic analysis of the distribution of inorganic carbon transporters and prospective targets for bioengineering to increase C i uptake by cyanobacteria

Abstract

Cyanobacteria have evolved a carbon-concentrating mechanism (CCM) which has enabled them to inhabit diverse environments encompassing a range of inorganic carbon (Ci: \({\text{HCO}}_{3}^{ - }\) and CO2) concentrations. Several uptake systems facilitate inorganic carbon accumulation in the cell, which can in turn be fixed by ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase. Here we survey the distribution of genes encoding known Ci uptake systems in cyanobacterial genomes and, using a pfam- and gene context-based approach, identify in the marine (alpha) cyanobacteria a heretofore unrecognized number of putative counterparts to the well-known Ci transporters of beta cyanobacteria. In addition, our analysis shows that there is a huge repertoire of transport systems in cyanobacteria of unknown function, many with homology to characterized Ci transporters. These can be viewed as prospective targets for conversion into ancillary Ci transporters through bioengineering. Increasing intracellular Ci concentration coupled with efforts to increase carbon fixation will be beneficial for the downstream conversion of fixed carbon into value-added products including biofuels. In addition to CCM transporter homologs, we also survey the occurrence of rhodopsin homologs in cyanobacteria, including bacteriorhodopsin, a class of retinal-binding, light-activated proton pumps. Because they are light driven and because of the apparent ease of altering their ion selectivity, we use this as an example of re-purposing an endogenous transporter for the augmentation of Ci uptake by cyanobacteria and potentially chloroplasts.

Posted on 16 November 2014 | 1:00 am


Shedding new light on viral photosynthesis

Abstract

Viruses infecting the environmentally important marine cyanobacteria Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus encode ‘auxiliary metabolic genes’ (AMGs) involved in the light and dark reactions of photosynthesis. Here, we discuss progress on the inventory of such AMGs in the ever-increasing number of viral genome sequences as well as in metagenomic datasets. We contextualise these gene acquisitions with reference to a hypothesised fitness gain to the phage. We also report new evidence with regard to the sequence and predicted structural properties of viral petE genes encoding the soluble electron carrier plastocyanin. Viral copies of PetE exhibit extensive modifications to the N-terminal signal peptide and possess several novel residues in a region responsible for interaction with redox partners. We also highlight potential knowledge gaps in this field and discuss future opportunities to discover novel phage–host interactions involved in the photosynthetic process.

Posted on 9 November 2014 | 1:00 am


Andrew Benson honored on birthday ? 97

Abstract

We present a brief account of the 97th birthday celebration of Andrew A. Benson, a scientific legend who is known, among other contributions, for his pioneering work on the path of carbon in photosynthesis (the Calvin-Benson cycle).

Posted on 6 November 2014 | 1:00 am





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