Electron-vibrational relaxation in the excited state of the primary electron donor, bacteriochlorophyll dimer P, in the reaction centers (RCs) of purple photosynthetic bacteria Rhodobacter sphaeroides is modeled. A multimode model of three states (i.e., the ground state Pg, initially excited P1*, and relaxed excited P2*) is used to calculate the incoherent dynamics of the difference (?A) spectra on a femtosecond timescale for the YM210 W mutant RCs. The relaxation processes are described by the step-ladder model. The model shows that the electron-vibrational relaxation in the excited state of P is visualized by the transient red shift of the stimulated emission from P*. The dynamics of this shift is observed as a change in the ?A spectrum shape in its red-most part, within a few hundreds of femtoseconds after excitation. As a result, an initial rise in the red-side ?A kinetics is delayed with respect to the blue-side kinetics. The time constant of the P1* ? P2* electronic relaxation (54 fs) and the Pg, P1*, and P2* vibrational relaxations (120 fs), used in the model, provided the best fit of the experimental time-resolved ?A spectra and kinetics at 90 and 293 K. The possible nature of the P1* ? P2* electronic relaxation is discussed.
This study identifies Salsola laricifolia as a C3–C4 intermediate in tribe Salsoleae s.l., Chenopodiaceae, and compares S. laricifolia with the previously described C3–C4 intermediates in Salsoleae. Photosynthetic pathway characteristics were studied in four species of this tribe including S. laricifolia, C3Sympegma regelii, C3–C4S. arbusculiformis, and C4S. arbuscula, using the approaches of leaf anatomy and ultrastructure, activities of ribulose 1-5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) and PEP carboxylase (PEPC), CO2 compensation point, and immunolocalization of Rubisco, PEPC, and the P-subunit of glycine decarboxylase (GDC). Salsola laricifolia has intermediate features, with near continuous and distinctive Kranz-like cells (KLCs) compared with the C3-Sympegmoid anatomical type and the C3–C4 intermediate S. arbusculiformis, a relatively low CO2 compensation point (30.4 ?mol mol?1) and mesophyll (M)-to KLC tissue ratio, mitochondria in KLCs primarily occurring along the centripetal wall, and specific localization of P-protein GDC in the KLCs. The C3-type isotope value (?22.4 ‰), the absence of the clear labeling for PEPC in M cells, and the low activity of the PEPC enzyme (61.5 ?mol mg?1 chlorophyll?1 h?1) support the identification of S. laricifolia as a type I C3–C4 intermediate. Although these C3–C4 intermediate species have different structural features, one with discontinuous KL cells and the other with continuous, they have similar characteristics in physiology and biochemistry.
Theoretical prediction of effective mean PAR in optically dense samples is complicated by various optical effects, including light scattering and reflections. Direct information on the mean rate of photon absorption by PS II is provided by the kinetics of the fluorescence rise induced upon onset of strong actinic illumination (O-I1 rise). A recently introduced kinetic multi-color PAM fluorometer was applied to study the relationship between initial slope and cell density in the relatively simple model system of suspensions of Chlorella. Use of a curve fitting routine was made which was originally developed for assessment of the wavelength-dependent absorption cross-section of PS II, ?II(?), in dilute suspensions. The model underlying analysis of the O-I1 rise kinetics is outlined and data on the relationship between fitted values of ?II(?) and PAR in dilute samples are presented. With increasing cell density, lowering of apparent cross-section, <?>(?), with respect to ?II(?), relates to a decrease of effective mean PAR, <PAR>(?), relative to incident PAR(?). When ML and AL are applied in the same direction, the decline of <?>(?)/?II(?) with increasing optical density is less steep than that of the theoretically predicted <PAR>(?)/PAR(?). It approaches a value of 0.5 when the same colors of ML and AL are used, in agreement with theory. These observations open the way for estimating mean PAR in optically dense samples via measurements of <?>(?)/?II(?)).
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/.
A novel super-complex of photosystem I (PSI)–light-harvesting complex I (LHCI) was isolated from a siphonaceous marine green alga, Bryopsis corticulans. The super-complex contained 9–10 Lhca antennas as external LHCI bound to the core complex. The super-complex was further disintegrated into PSI core and LHCI sub-complexes, and analysis of the pigment compositions by high-performance liquid chromatography revealed unique characteristics of the B. corticulans PSI in that one PSI core contained around 14 ?-carotenes and 1–2 ?-carotenes. This is in sharp contrast to the PSI core from higher plants and most cyanobacteria where only ?-carotenes were present, and is the first report for an ?-carotene-type PSI core complex among photosynthetic eukaryotes, suggesting a structural flexibility of the PSI core. Lhca antennas from B. corticulans contained seven kinds of carotenoids (siphonaxanthin, all-trans neoxanthin, 9?-cis neoxanthin, violaxanthin, siphonein, ?-carotene, and ?-carotene) and showed a high carotenoid:chlorophyll ratio of around 7.5:13. PSI–LHCI super-complex and PSI core showed fluorescence emission peaks at 716 and 718 nm at 77 K, respectively; whereas two Lhca oligomers had fluorescence peaks at 681 and 684 nm, respectively. By comparison with spinach PSI preparations, it was found that B. corticulans PSI had less red chlorophylls, most of them are present in the core complex but not in the outer light-harvesting systems. These characteristics may contribute to the fine tuning of the energy transfer network, and to acclimate to the ever-changing light conditions under which the unique green alga inhabits.
This paper deals with how Govindjee taught the Z-Scheme of electron transport in oxygenic photosynthesis at Ravenshaw University, Cuttack, Odisha, India, in 2014, in a unique and highly effective fashion—using students to act as molecules, representing the entire electron transport chain from water to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP+). It culminated in a show by B.Sc. students in the garden of the Department of Botany, Ravenshaw University. The first author (PKM) personally acted as Ferredoxin NADP Reductase (FNR) catalyzing the reduction of NADP+ to NADPH, taking electrons from reduced ferredoxin at the end of Photosystem I. On the other hand, the Q-cycle was played by M.Sc. students, who acted as molecules running this ingenious cycle that produces extra protons. An interesting event was when a student, acting as a herbicide, who was dressed like a devil (fierce looking, in black clothes with a sword; “Yamaraj: The God of Death”, as he called himself), stopped all reactions by throwing out QB, the second plastoquinone molecule of Photosystem II, and that too aggressively, taking its position instead. The second author was the major organizer of the Z-scheme show. We provide here a basic background on the process, a bit on Govindjee’s teaching, and some selected pictures from the drama played in March, 2014 at Ravenshaw University. Here, we also recognize the teacher Govindjee for his ingenious and fun-filled teaching methods that touched the hearts and the souls of the students as well as the teachers of Ravenshaw University. He was rated as one of the most-admired teachers of plant biology at our university.
The ability of Prochlorococcus to numerically dominate open ocean regions and contribute significantly to global carbon cycles is dependent in large part on its effectiveness in transforming light energy into compounds used in cell growth, maintenance, and division. Integral to these processes is the carbon dioxide-concentrating mechanism (CCM), which enhances photosynthetic CO2 fixation. The CCM involves both active uptake systems that permit intracellular accumulation of inorganic carbon as the pool of bicarbonate and the system of HCO3? conversion into CO2. The latter is located in the carboxysome, a microcompartment designed to promote the carboxylase activity of Rubisco. This study presents a comparative analysis of several facets of the Prochlorococcus CCM. Our analyses indicate that a core set of CCM components is shared, and their genomic organization is relatively well conserved. Moreover, certain elements, including carboxysome shell polypeptides CsoS1 and CsoS4A, exhibit striking conservation. Unexpectedly, our analyses reveal that the carbonic anhydrase (CsoSCA) and CsoS2 shell polypeptide have diversified within the lineage. Differences in csoSCA and csoS2 are consistent with a model of unequal rates of evolution rather than relaxed selection. The csoS2 and csoSCA genes form a cluster in Prochlorococcus genomes, and we identified two conserved motifs directly upstream of this cluster that differ from the motif in marine Synechococcus and could be involved in regulation of gene expression. Although several elements of the CCM remain well conserved in the Prochlorococcus lineage, the evolution of differences in specific carboxysome features could in part reflect optimization of carboxysome-associated processes in dissimilar cellular environments.
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.
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.
The unicellular green alga Chlamydomonasreinhardtii 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Fv/Fm 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.
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.
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.
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 kcat of 2.0 × 104 s?1 and kcat/Km 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.
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.
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).
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.
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