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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:



Biochemical and biophysical CO2 concentrating mechanisms in two species of freshwater macrophyte within the genus Ottelia (Hydrocharitaceae)

Abstract

Two freshwater macrophytes, Ottelia alismoides and O. acuminata, were grown at low (mean 5 ?mol L?1) and high (mean 400 ?mol L?1) CO2 concentrations under natural conditions. The ratio of PEPC to RuBisCO activity was 1.8 in O. acuminata in both treatments. In O. alismoides, this ratio was 2.8 and 5.9 when grown at high and low CO2, respectively, as a result of a twofold increase in PEPC activity. The activity of PPDK was similar to, and changed with, PEPC (1.9-fold change). The activity of the decarboxylating NADP-malic enzyme (ME) was very low in both species, while NAD-ME activity was high and increased with PEPC activity in O. alismoides. These results suggest that O. alismoides might perform a type of C4 metabolism with NAD-ME decarboxylation, despite lacking Kranz anatomy. The C4-activity was still present at high CO2 suggesting that it could be constitutive. O. alismoides at low CO2 showed diel acidity variation of up to 34 ?equiv g?1 FW indicating that it may also operate a form of crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM). pH-drift experiments showed that both species were able to use bicarbonate. In O. acuminata, the kinetics of carbon uptake were altered by CO2 growth conditions, unlike in O. alismoides. Thus, the two species appear to regulate their carbon concentrating mechanisms differently in response to changing CO2. O. alismoides is potentially using three different concentrating mechanisms. The Hydrocharitaceae have many species with evidence for C4, CAM or some other metabolism involving organic acids, and are worthy of further study.

Posted on 1 September 2014 | 2:00 am


Difference in physiological responses of growth, photosynthesis and calcification of the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi to acidification by acid and CO2 enrichment

Abstract

Ocean acidification, one of the great global environmental issues at present, is expected to result in serious damage on marine calcareous organisms such as corals and calcifying algae, which potentially release huge amounts of CO2 from the ocean to the atmosphere. The coccolithophore, Emiliania huxleyi (Haptophyceae), which frequently produces blooms, has greatly contributed to the biological CO2 pump. This study was aimed at analyzing effects of how E. huxleyi responds to acidification. Acidification was performed by two methods, namely by just adding HCl under bubbling ordinary air at 8.2–8.4, 7.6–7.8 and 7.1–7.3 (acidification by HCl) and by bubbling with ordinary air or with increased CO2 concentration such as 406, 816 and 1,192 ppm that maintained pH of the medium at 8.0–8.3, 7.6–7.9 and 7.5–7.7 (acidification by CO2 enrichment). As a result, cell growth and cellular calcification of E. huxleyi were strongly damaged by acidification by HCl, but not by acidification by CO2 enrichment. The activities of photosystems such as F v/F m and ?PSII were not affected by any acidification conditions while photosynthetic O2 evolution was slightly stimulated. A 45Ca-radiotracer experiment revealed that Ca2+-uptake was strongly suppressed by acidification with HCl. This suppression recovered after increasing the dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) concentration and further stimulated by an additional increase in DIC concentration. The production of storage and coccolith polysaccharides was increased by acidification by HCl and also highly stimulated by acidification with CO2 enrichment. The present study clearly showed that the coccolithophore, E. huxleyi, has an ability to respond positively to acidification with CO2 enrichment, but not just acidification.

Posted on 1 September 2014 | 2:00 am


A chloroplast pump model for the CO2 concentrating mechanism in the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum

Abstract

Prior analysis of inorganic carbon (Ci) fluxes in the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum has indicated that transport of Ci into the chloroplast from the cytoplasm is the major Ci flux in the cell and the primary driving force for the CO2 concentrating mechanism (CCM). This flux drives the accumulation of Ci in the chloroplast stroma and generates a CO2 deficit in the cytoplasm, inducing CO2 influx into the cell. Here, the “chloroplast pump” model of the CCM in P. tricornutum is formalized and its consistency with data on CO2 and HCO3 ? uptake rates, carbonic anhydrase (CA) activity, intracellular Ci concentration, intracellular pH, and RubisCO characteristics is assessed. The chloroplast pump model can account for the major features of the data. Analysis of photosynthetic and Ci uptake rates as a function of external Ci concentration shows that the model has the most difficulty obtaining sufficiently low cytoplasmic CO2 concentrations to support observed CO2 uptake rates at low external Ci concentrations and achieving high rates of photosynthesis. There are multiple ways in which model parameters can be varied, within a plausible range, to match measured rates of photosynthesis and CO2 uptake. To increase CO2 uptake rates, CA activity can be increased, kinetic characteristics of the putative chloroplast pump can be enhanced to increase HCO3 ? export, or the cytoplasmic pH can be raised. To increase the photosynthetic rate, the permeability of the pyrenoid to CO2 can be reduced or RubisCO content can be increased.

Posted on 1 September 2014 | 2:00 am


CO2 acquisition in Chlamydomonas acidophila is influenced mainly by CO2, not phosphorus, availability

Abstract

The extremophilic green microalga Chlamydomonas acidophila grows in very acidic waters (pH 2.3–3.4), where CO2 is the sole inorganic carbon source. Previous work has revealed that the species can accumulate inorganic carbon (Ci) and exhibits high affinity CO2 utilization under low-CO2 (air-equilibrium) conditions, similar to organisms with an active CO2 concentrating mechanism (CCM), whereas both processes are down-regulated under high CO2 (4.5 % CO2) conditions. Responses of this species to phosphorus (Pi)-limited conditions suggested a contrasting regulation of the CCM characteristics. Therefore, we measured external carbonic anhydrase (CAext) activities and protein expression (CAH1), the internal pH, Ci accumulation, and CO2-utilization in cells adapted to high or low CO2 under Pi-replete and Pi-limited conditions. Results reveal that C. acidophila expressed CAext activity and expressed a protein cross-reacting with CAH1 (the CAext from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii). Although the function of this CA remains unclear, CAext activity and high affinity CO2 utilization were the highest under low CO2 conditions. C. acidophila accumulated Ci and expressed the CAH1 protein under all conditions tested, and C. reinhardtii also contained substantial amounts of CAH1 protein under Pi-limitation. In conclusion, Ci utilization is optimized in C. acidophila under ecologically relevant conditions, which may enable optimal survival in its extreme Ci- and Pi-limited habitat. The exact physiological and biochemical acclimation remains to be further studied.

Posted on 1 September 2014 | 2:00 am


LCIB in the Chlamydomonas CO2-concentrating mechanism

Abstract

The CO2-concentrating mechanism confers microalgae a versatile and efficient strategy for adapting to a wide range of environmental CO2 concentrations. LCIB, which has been demonstrated as a key player in the eukaryotic algal CO2-concentrating mechanism (CCM), is a novel protein in Chlamydomonas lacking any recognizable domain or motif, and its exact function in the CCM has not been clearly defined. The unique air-dier growth phenotype and photosynthetic characteristics in the LCIB mutants, and re-localization of LCIB between different subcellular locations in response to different levels of CO2, have indicated that the function of LCIB is closely associated with a distinct low CO2 acclimation state. Here, we review physiological and molecular evidence linking LCIB with inorganic carbon accumulation in the CCM and discuss the proposed function of LCIB in several inorganic carbon uptake/accumulation pathways. Several new molecular characteristics of LCIB also are presented.

Posted on 1 September 2014 | 2:00 am


Identification and characterization of a carboxysomal ?-carbonic anhydrase from the cyanobacterium Nostoc sp. PCC 7120

Abstract

Carboxysomes are proteinaceous microcompartments that encapsulate carbonic anhydrase (CA) and ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco); carboxysomes, therefore, catalyze reversible HCO3 ? dehydration and the subsequent fixation of CO2. The N- and C-terminal domains of the ?-carboxysome scaffold protein CcmM participate in a network of protein–protein interactions that are essential for carboxysome biogenesis, organization, and function. The N-terminal domain of CcmM in the thermophile Thermosynechococcus elongatus BP-1 is also a catalytically active, redox regulated ?-CA. To experimentally determine if CcmM from a mesophilic cyanobacterium is active, we cloned, expressed and purified recombinant, full-length CcmM from Nostoc sp. PCC 7120 as well as the N-terminal 209 amino acid ?-CA-like domain. Both recombinant proteins displayed ethoxyzolamide-sensitive CA activity in mass spectrometric assays, as did the carboxysome-enriched TP fraction. NstCcmM209 was characterized as a moderately active and efficient ?-CA with a k cat of 2.0 × 104 s?1 and k cat/K m of 4.1 × 106 M?1 s?1 at 25 °C and pH 8, a pH optimum between 8 and 9.5 and a temperature optimum spanning 25–35 °C. NstCcmM209 also catalyzed the hydrolysis of the CO2 analog carbonyl sulfide. Circular dichroism and intrinsic tryptophan fluorescence analysis demonstrated that NstCcmM209 was progressively and irreversibly denatured above 50 °C. NstCcmM209 activity was inhibited by the reducing agent tris(hydroxymethyl)phosphine, an effect that was fully reversed by a molar excess of diamide, a thiol oxidizing agent, consistent with oxidative activation being a universal regulatory mechanism of CcmM orthologs. Immunogold electron microscopy and Western blot analysis of TP pellets indicated that Rubisco and CcmM co-localize and are concentrated in Nostoc sp. PCC 7120 carboxysomes.

Posted on 1 September 2014 | 2:00 am


Energy costs of carbon dioxide concentrating mechanisms in aquatic organisms

Abstract

Minimum energy (as photon) costs are predicted for core reactions of photosynthesis, for photorespiratory metabolism in algae lacking CO2 concentrating mechanisms (CCMs) and for various types of CCMs; in algae, with CCMs; allowance was made for leakage of CO2 from the internal pool. These predicted values are just compatible with the minimum measured photon costs of photosynthesis in microalgae and macroalgae lacking or expressing CCMs. More energy-expensive photorespiration, for example for organisms using Rubiscos with lower CO2–O2 selectivity coefficients, would be less readily accommodated within the lowest measured photon costs of photosynthesis by algae lacking CCMs. The same applies to the cases of CCMs with higher energy costs of active transport of protons or inorganic carbon species, or greater allowance for significant leakage from the accumulated intracellular pool of CO2. High energetic efficiency can involve a higher concentration of catalyst to achieve a given rate of reaction, adding to the resource costs of growth. There are no obvious mechanistic interpretations of the occurrence of CCMs algae adapted to low light and low temperatures using the rationales adopted for the occurrence of C4 photosynthesis in terrestrial flowering plants. There is an exception for cyanobacteria with low-selectivity Form IA or IB Rubiscos, and those dinoflagellates with low-selectivity Form II Rubiscos, for which very few natural environments have high enough CO2:O2 ratios to allow photosynthesis in the absence of CCMs.

Posted on 1 September 2014 | 2:00 am


Interactions and structural variability of ?-carboxysomal shell protein CcmL

Abstract

CcmL is a small, pentameric protein that is argued to fill the vertices of ?-carboxysomal shell. Here we report the structures of two CcmL orthologs, those from Nostoc sp. PCC 7120 and Thermosynechococcus elongatus BP-1. These structures broadly resemble those previously reported for other strains. However, the Nostoc CcmL structure shows an interesting pattern of behavior where two loops that map to the base of the pentamer adopt either an out or in conformation, with a consistent (over six pentamers) out–in–out–in–in pattern of protomers. The pentamers in this structure are also consistently organized into a back-to-back decamer, though evidence suggests that this is likely not present in solution. Förster resonance energy transfer experiments were able to show a weak interaction between CcmL and CcmK2 when CcmK2 was present at >100 ?M. Since CcmK2 forms defined bodies with approximately 200 nm diameter at this concentration, this would support the idea that CcmL can only interact with CcmK2 at rare defect points in the growing shell.

Posted on 1 September 2014 | 2:00 am


Isolation and characterization of mutants defective in the localization of LCIB, an essential factor for the carbon-concentrating mechanism in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

Abstract

The unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii acclimates to low-CO2 (LC) conditions by actively transporting inorganic carbon (Ci) into the cell, resulting in an increase in photosynthetic efficiency. This mechanism is called the carbon-concentrating mechanism (CCM), and soluble protein LCIB is essential for the CCM. LCIB is localized in the vicinity of pyrenoid, a prominent structure in the chloroplast, under LC conditions in the light. In contrast, in the dark or in high-CO2 conditions, where the CCM is inactive, LCIB diffuses away from the pyrenoid. Although the functional importance of LCIB for the CCM has been shown, the significance and mechanism of the change in suborganellar localization of LCIB remain to be elucidated. In this study, we screened 13,000 DNA-tagged mutants and isolated twelve aberrant LCIB localization (abl) mutants under LC conditions. abl-1 and abl-3 with dispersed and speckled localization of LCIB in the chloroplast showed significant decreases in Ci affinity, Ci accumulation, and CO2 fixation. Ten abl mutants (abl-1, abl-3, abl-4, abl-5, abl-6, abl-7, abl-8, abl-9, abl-11, and abl-12) showed not only aberrant LCIB localization but also reduced pyrenoid sizes. Moreover, three abl mutants (abl-10, abl-11, and abl-12) showed the increased numbers of pyrenoids per cell. These results suggested that the specific LCIB localization could be related to pyrenoid development.

Posted on 1 September 2014 | 2:00 am


Localization of enzymes relating to C4 organic acid metabolisms in the marine diatom, Thalassiosira pseudonana

Abstract

In the genome of the marine diatom—Thalassiosira pseudonana, there are several putative genes encoding enzymes potentially constitute a classical C4 type biochemical CO2-concentrating mechanism. Two genes encode a carboxylation enzyme phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC)1 and PEPC2; and another two encode decarboxylation enzymes, NAD+-dependent malic enzyme (NAD-ME) and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK). These genes were tagged by the enhanced-green fluorescence protein, egfp, ligated in the transformation vector, and transformed into the cells of T. pseudonana for localization of GFP fusion products. The PEPC1:GFP fusion was localized at the matrix of the periplastidal compartment, while the PEPC2:GFP fusion was localized at the mitochondria. The NAD-ME:GFP fusion was localized in the cytosol and the PEPCK:GFP fusion at the mitochondria. The transcripts level of NAD-ME was extremely low, and PEPCK transcript was significantly induced under the dark, suggesting that PEPCK is involved in the dark metabolism such as respiration and amino acid metabolism in the mitochondria. Treatments of low-CO2grown T. pseudonana cells with inhibitors for PEPCK and PEPC efficiently dissipated the maximum rate of photosynthesis while these treatments did not affect high-affinity photosynthesis. These data strongly suggest that classical C4 enzymes play little role in the CCM in T. pseudonana.

Posted on 1 September 2014 | 2:00 am


On-line stable isotope gas exchange reveals an inducible but leaky carbon concentrating mechanism in Nannochloropsis salina

Abstract

Carbon concentrating mechanisms (CCMs) are common among microalgae, but their regulation and even existence in some of the most promising biofuel production strains is poorly understood. This is partly because screening for new strains does not commonly include assessment of CCM function or regulation despite its fundamental role in primary carbon metabolism. In addition, the inducible nature of many microalgal CCMs means that environmental conditions should be considered when assessing CCM function and its potential impact on biofuels. In this study, we address the effect of environmental conditions by combining novel, high frequency, on-line 13CO2 gas exchange screen with microscope-based lipid characterization to assess CCM function in Nannochloropsis salina and its interaction with lipid production. Regulation of CCM function was explored by changing the concentration of CO2 provided to continuous cultures in airlift bioreactors where cell density was kept constant across conditions by controlling the rate of media supply. Our isotopic gas exchange results were consistent with N. salina having an inducible “pump-leak” style CCM similar to that of Nannochloropsis gaditana. Though cells grew faster at high CO2 and had higher rates of net CO2 uptake, we did not observe significant differences in lipid content between conditions. Since the rate of CO2 supply was much higher for the high CO2 conditions, we calculated that growing cells bubbled with low CO2 is about 40 % more efficient for carbon capture than bubbling with high CO2. We attribute this higher efficiency to the activity of a CCM under low CO2 conditions.

Posted on 1 September 2014 | 2:00 am


Strong shift from HCO3 ? to CO2 uptake in Emiliania huxleyi with acidification: new approach unravels acclimation versus short-term pH effects

Abstract

Effects of ocean acidification on Emiliania huxleyi strain RCC 1216 (calcifying, diploid life-cycle stage) and RCC 1217 (non-calcifying, haploid life-cycle stage) were investigated by measuring growth, elemental composition, and production rates under different pCO2 levels (380 and 950 ?atm). In these differently acclimated cells, the photosynthetic carbon source was assessed by a 14C disequilibrium assay, conducted over a range of ecologically relevant pH values (7.9–8.7). In agreement with previous studies, we observed decreased calcification and stimulated biomass production in diploid cells under high pCO2, but no CO2-dependent changes in biomass production for haploid cells. In both life-cycle stages, the relative contributions of CO2 and HCO3 ? uptake depended strongly on the assay pH. At pH values ? 8.1, cells preferentially used CO2 (? 90 % CO2), whereas at pH values ? 8.3, cells progressively increased the fraction of HCO3 ? uptake (~45 % CO2 at pH 8.7 in diploid cells; ~55 % CO2 at pH 8.5 in haploid cells). In contrast to the short-term effect of the assay pH, the pCO2 acclimation history had no significant effect on the carbon uptake behavior. A numerical sensitivity study confirmed that the pH-modification in the 14C disequilibrium method yields reliable results, provided that model parameters (e.g., pH, temperature) are kept within typical measurement uncertainties. Our results demonstrate a high plasticity of E. huxleyi to rapidly adjust carbon acquisition to the external carbon supply and/or pH, and provide an explanation for the paradoxical observation of high CO2 sensitivity despite the apparently high HCO3 ? usage seen in previous studies.

Posted on 1 September 2014 | 2:00 am


In vitro and in vivo analyses of the role of the carboxysomal ?-type carbonic anhydrase of the cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus in carboxylation of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate

Abstract

The carboxylase activities of crude carboxysome preparations obtained from the wild-type Synechococcus elongatus strain PCC 7942 strain and the mutant defective in the carboxysomal carbonic anhydrase (CA) were compared. The carboxylation reaction required high concentrations of bicarbonate and was not even saturated at 50 mM bicarbonate. With the initial concentrations of 50 mM and 25 mM for bicarbonate and ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate (RuBP), respectively, the initial rate of RuBP carboxylation by the mutant carboxysome (0.22 ?mol mg?1 protein min?1) was only 30 % of that observed for the wild-type carboxysomes (0.71 ?mol mg?1 protein min?1), indicating the importance of the presence of CA in efficient catalysis by ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco). While the mutant defective in the ccmLMNO genes, which lacks the carboxysome structure, could grow under aeration with 2 % (v/v) CO2 in air, the mutant defective in ccaA as well as ccmLMNO required 5 % (v/v) CO2 for growth, indicating that the cytoplasmically localized CcaA helped utilization of CO2 by the cytoplasmically localized Rubisco by counteracting the action of the CO2 hydration mechanism. The results predict that overexpression of Rubisco would hardly enhance CO2 fixation by the cyanobacterium at CO2 levels lower than 5 %, unless Rubisco is properly organized into carboxysomes.

Posted on 1 September 2014 | 2:00 am


Isolation and characterization of novel high-CO2-requiring mutants of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

Abstract

Aquatic microalgae induce a carbon-concentrating mechanism (CCM) to maintain photosynthetic activity in low-CO2 (LC) conditions. Although the molecular mechanism of the CCM has been investigated using the single-cell green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, and several CCM-related genes have been identified by analyzing high-CO2 (HC)-requiring mutants, many aspects of the CO2-signal transduction pathways remain to be elucidated. In this study, we report the isolation of novel HC-requiring mutants defective in the induction of CCM by DNA tagging. Growth rates of 20,000 transformants grown under HC and LC conditions were compared, and three HC-requiring mutants (H24, H82, and P103) were isolated. The photosynthetic CO2-exchange activities of these mutants were significantly decreased compared with that of wild-type cells, and accumulation of HLA3 and both LCIA and HLA3 were absent in mutants H24 and H82, respectively. Although the insertion of the marker gene and the HC-requiring phenotype were linked in the tetrad progeny of H82, and a calcium-sensing receptor CAS was disrupted by the insertion, exogenous expression of CAS alone could not complement the HC-requiring phenotype.

Posted on 1 September 2014 | 2:00 am


Carbon allocation and element composition in four Chlamydomonas mutants defective in genes related to the CO2 concentrating mechanism

Abstract

Four mutants of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii with defects in different components of the CO2 concentrating mechanism (CCM) or in Rubisco activase were grown autotrophically at high pCO2 and then transferred to low pCO2, in order to study the role of different components of the CCM on carbon allocation and elemental composition. To study carbon allocation, we measured the relative size of the main organic pools by Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy. Total reflection X-ray fluorescence was used to analyze the elemental composition of algal cells. Our data show that although the organic pools increased their size at high CO2 in all strains, their stoichiometry was highly homeostatic, i.e., the ratios between carbohydrates and proteins, lipid and proteins, and carbohydrates and lipids, did not change significantly. The only exception was the wild-type 137c, in which proteins decreased relative to carbohydrates and lipids, when the cells were transferred to low CO2. It is noticeable that the two wild types used in this study responded differently to the transition from high to low CO2. Malfunctions of the CCM influenced the concentration of several elements, somewhat altering cell elemental stoichiometry: especially the C/P and N/P ratios changed appreciably in almost all strains as a function of the growth CO2 concentration, except in 137c and the Rubisco activase mutant rca1. In strain cia3, defective in the lumenal carbonic anhydrase (CA), the cell quotas of P, S, Ca, Mn, Fe, and Zn were about 5-fold higher at low CO2 than at high CO2. A Principle Components Analysis showed that, mostly because of its elemental composition, cia3 behaved in a substantially different way from all other strains, at low CO2. The lumenal CA thus plays a crucial role, not only for the correct functioning of the CCM, but also for element utilization. Not surprisingly, growth at high CO2 attenuated differences among strains.

Posted on 1 September 2014 | 2:00 am


Localization of putative carbonic anhydrases in the marine diatom, Thalassiosira pseudonana

Abstract

Thirteen putative carbonic anhydrase (CA) genes have been identified in the marine multipolar centric diatom, Thalassiosira pseudonana, and two of these CAs have been localized previously. The first, an alpha CA (Tp?CA1), was localized in the chloroplast stroma; the second, a zeta-type CA (Tp?CA1), was localized to the periplasmic space. In the present study, cloning and localization of the remaining CAs were carried out. Tp?CA2, Tp?CA3, Tp?CA4, Tp?CA5, Tp?CA1, Tp?CA2, Tp?CA3, and Tp?CA1 were responsive to CO2 availability at the transcriptional level, being significantly reduced in cells grown at 0.4 % CO2, whereas Tp?CA1, Tp?CA2, Tp?CA3, Tp?CA1, and Tp?CA4 transcript levels were constitutive with respect to CO2 concentration. Full-length cDNAs for Tp?CA1, Tp?CA2, Tp?CA3, Tp?CA4, Tp?CA1, and Tp?CA2 were isolated and fused with the enhanced-green fluorescent gene at their 3? termini. These GFP-fusion constructs were transformed into T. pseudonana, and the resulting GFP fusion products were localized using fluorescence microscopy. The ?-type Tp?CA1 was localized on the periphery of the cell, strongly suggesting localization to the periplasmic space or the frustule. The ?-type Tp?CA3 and the ?-type Tp?CA2 were, respectively, localized in a periplastidal compartment and the cytosol. The ?-type Tp?CA2, and the ?-types Tp?CA1, 3, and 4 were localized in the mitochondria. The distribution of CAs in T. pseudonana contrasts notably with that of the raphid pennate diatom P. tricornutum, with likely consequences for CCM function including modes of CO2 acquisition, regions in which DIC is accumulated, and needs for minimizing CO2 leakage from the chloroplast.

Posted on 1 September 2014 | 2:00 am


Mechanisms of inorganic carbon acquisition in two estuarine Rhodophyceans: Bostrychia scorpioides (Hudson) ex Kützing Montagne and Catenella caespitosa (Withering) L. M. Irvine

Abstract

Marine macroalgae possess a range of mechanisms to increase the availability of CO2 for fixation by ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase. Of these, possession of a periplasmic or external carbonic anhydrase and the ability to use bicarbonate ions is widely distributed. The mechanisms of carbon acquisition were studied in two estuarine red macroalgae Bostrychia scorpioides and Catenella caespitosa using a range of techniques. pH-drift and CO2-depletion experiments at constant pH suggested that CO2 is the main source of inorganic carbon in both species. Inhibitors indicated that internal and external carbonic anhydrase were present in both species. Inhibitors also suggested that uptake of bicarbonate is unlikely to be present (P < 0.05).

Posted on 1 September 2014 | 2:00 am


The carbon concentrating mechanism in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii: finding the missing pieces

Abstract

The photosynthetic, unicellular green alga, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, lives in environments that often contain low concentrations of CO2 and HCO3 ?, the utilizable forms of inorganic carbon (Ci). C. reinhardtii possesses a carbon concentrating mechanism (CCM) which can provide suitable amounts of Ci for growth and development. This CCM is induced when the CO2 concentration is at air levels or lower and is comprised of a set of proteins that allow the efficient uptake of Ci into the cell as well as its directed transport to the site where Rubisco fixes CO2 into biomolecules. While several components of the CCM have been identified in recent years, the picture is still far from complete. To further improve our knowledge of the CCM, we undertook a mutagenesis project where an antibiotic resistance cassette was randomly inserted into the C. reinhardtii genome resulting in the generation of 22,000 mutants. The mutant collection was screened using both a published PCR-based approach (Gonzalez-Ballester et al. 2011) and a phenotypic growth screen. The PCR-based screen did not rely on a colony having an altered growth phenotype and was used to identify colonies with disruptions in genes previously identified as being associated with the CCM-related gene. Eleven independent insertional mutations were identified in eight different genes showing the usefulness of this approach in generating mutations in CCM-related genes of interest as well as identifying new CCM components. Further improvements of this method are also discussed.

Posted on 1 September 2014 | 2:00 am


CCM8: The Eighth International Symposium on Inorganic Carbon Uptake by Aquatic Photosynthetic Organisms

Abstract

The articles in this special issue of Photosynthesis Research arose from the presentations given at the Eighth International Symposium on Inorganic Carbon Uptake by Aquatic Photosynthetic Organisms held from May 27 to June 1, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana USA. The meeting covered all the aspects of CO2 concentrating mechanisms (CCMs) present in photosynthetic bacteria, microalgae and macrophytes, and spanned disciplines from the molecular biology of CCMs to the importance of CCMs in aquatic ecosystems. The publications in this special issue represent our current understanding of CCMs and highlight recent advances in the field. The influences of CCMs on algal biofuel production as well as recent efforts to use the CCM to improve crop plants are also explored.

Posted on 1 September 2014 | 2:00 am


Warwick Hillier: a tribute

Abstract

Warwick Hillier (October 18, 1967–January 10, 2014) made seminal contributions to our understanding of photosynthetic water oxidation employing membrane inlet mass spectrometry and FTIR spectroscopy. This article offers a collection of historical perspectives on the scientific impact of Warwick Hillier’s work and tributes to the personal impact his life and ideas had on his collaborators and colleagues.

Posted on 20 July 2014 | 2:00 am





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