Photosynthesis Research

Current research articles.


The journal Photosynthesis Research is an international journal dealing with both basic and applied aspects of photosynthesis. The journal publishes research at all levels of plant organization: molecular, subcellular, cellular, whole plant, canopy, ecosystem and global.

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Photosynthesis Research - Abstracts



Time-resolved infrared spectroscopy in the study of photosynthetic systems

Abstract

Time-resolved (TR) infrared (IR) spectroscopy in the nanosecond to second timescale has been extensively used, in the last 30 years, in the study of photosynthetic systems. Interesting results have also been obtained at lower time resolution (minutes or even hours). In this review, we first describe the used techniques—dispersive IR, laser diode IR, rapid-scan Fourier transform (FT)IR, step-scan FTIR—underlying the advantages and disadvantages of each of them. Then, the main TR-IR results obtained so far in the investigation of photosynthetic reactions (in reaction centers, in light-harvesting systems, but also in entire membranes or even in living organisms) are presented. Finally, after the general conclusions, the perspectives in the field of TR-IR applied to photosynthesis are described.


Datum: 27.09.2016


Honoring Jean-David Rochaix

Abstract

We honor Jean-David Rochaix, an outstanding scholar of chloroplast biogenesis and photosynthesis, who received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award of the International Society of Photosynthesis Research at its 17th International Photosynthesis Congress held in Maastricht, The Netherlands (August 5–12, 2016). With this award he joins other major discoverers in the field of photosynthesis: Pierre Joliot (of France, 2013); Ulrich W. Heber* (of Germany, 2010) and Kenneth Sauer (of USA, 2010); Jan M. Anderson* (of Australia, 2007); and Horst T. Witt* (of Germany, 2004). See “Appendix 1” for the list of those who have received the ISPR Communication, Innovation, Calvin–Benson, and Hill awards.


Datum: 26.09.2016


Arctic Micromonas uses protein pools and non-photochemical quenching to cope with temperature restrictions on Photosystem II protein turnover

Abstract

Micromonas strains of small prasinophyte green algae are found throughout the world’s oceans, exploiting widely different niches. We grew arctic and temperate strains of Micromonas and compared their susceptibilities to photoinactivation of Photosystem II, their counteracting Photosystem II repair capacities, their Photosystem II content, and their induction and relaxation of non-photochemical quenching. In the arctic strain Micromonas NCMA 2099, the cellular content of active Photosystem II represents only about 50 % of total Photosystem II protein, as a slow rate constant for clearance of PsbA protein limits instantaneous repair. In contrast, the temperate strain NCMA 1646 shows a faster clearance of PsbA protein which allows it to maintain active Photosystem II content equivalent to total Photosystem II protein. Under growth at 2 °C, the arctic Micromonas maintains a constitutive induction of xanthophyll deepoxidation, shown by second-derivative whole-cell spectra, which supports strong induction of non-photochemical quenching under low to moderate light, even if xanthophyll cycling is blocked. This non-photochemical quenching, however, relaxes during subsequent darkness with kinetics nearly comparable to the temperate Micromonas NCMA 1646, thereby limiting the opportunity cost of sustained downregulation of PSII function after a decrease in light.


Datum: 17.09.2016


Far-red light photoacclimation (FaRLiP) in Synechococcus sp. PCC 7335: I. Regulation of FaRLiP gene expression

Abstract

Far-red light photoacclimation (FaRLiP) is a mechanism that allows some cyanobacteria to utilize far-red light (FRL) for oxygenic photosynthesis. During FaRLiP, cyanobacteria remodel photosystem (PS) I, PS II, and phycobilisomes while synthesizing Chl d, Chl f, and far-red-absorbing phycobiliproteins, and these changes enable these organisms to use FRL for growth. In this study, a conjugation-based genetic system was developed for Synechococcus sp. PCC 7335. Three antibiotic cassettes were successfully used to generate knockout mutations in genes in Synechococcus sp. PCC 7335, which should allow up to three gene loci to be modified in one strain. This system was used to delete the rfpA, rfpB, and rfpC genes individually, and characterization of the mutants demonstrated that these genes control the expression of the FaRLiP gene cluster in Synechococcus sp. PCC 7335. The mutant strains exhibited some surprising differences from similar mutants in other FaRLiP strains. Notably, mutations in any of the three master transcription regulatory genes led to enhanced synthesis of phycocyanin and PS II. A time-course study showed that acclimation of the photosynthetic apparatus from that produced in white light to that produced in FRL occurs very slowly over a period 12–14 days in this strain and that it is associated with a substantial reduction (~34 %) in the chlorophyll a content of the cells. This study shows that there are differences in the detailed responses of cyanobacteria to growth in FRL in spite of the obvious similarities in the organization and regulation of the FaRLiP gene cluster.


Datum: 16.09.2016


Novel insights into the origin and diversification of photosynthesis based on analyses of conserved indels in the core reaction center proteins

Abstract

The evolution and diversification of different types of photosynthetic reaction centers (RCs) remains an important unresolved problem. We report here novel sequence features of the core proteins from Type I RCs (RC-I) and Type II RCs (RC-II) whose analyses provide important insights into the evolution of the RCs. The sequence alignments of the RC-I core proteins contain two conserved inserts or deletions (indels), a 3 amino acid (aa) indel that is uniquely found in all RC-I homologs from Cyanobacteria (both PsaA and PsaB) and a 1 aa indel that is specifically shared by the Chlorobi and Acidobacteria homologs. Ancestral sequence reconstruction provides evidence that the RC-I core protein from Heliobacteriaceae (PshA), lacking these indels, is most closely related to the ancestral RC-I protein. Thus, the identified 3 aa and 1 aa indels in the RC-I protein sequences must have been deletions, which occurred, respectively, in an ancestor of the modern Cyanobacteria containing a homodimeric form of RC-I and in a common ancestor of the RC-I core protein from Chlorobi and Acidobacteria. We also report a conserved 1 aa indel in the RC-II protein sequences that is commonly shared by all homologs from Cyanobacteria but not found in the homologs from Chloroflexi, Proteobacteria and Gemmatimonadetes. Ancestral sequence reconstruction provides evidence that the RC-II subunits lacking this indel are more similar to the ancestral RC-II protein. The results of flexible structural alignments of the indel-containing region of the RC-II protein with the homologous region in the RC-I core protein, which shares structural similarity with the RC-II homologs, support the view that the 1 aa indel present in the RC-II homologs from Cyanobacteria is a deletion, which was not present in the ancestral form of the RC-II protein. Our analyses of the conserved indels found in the RC-I and RC-II proteins, thus, support the view that the earliest photosynthetic lineages with living descendants likely contained only a single RC (RC-I or RC-II), and the presence of both RC-I and RC-II in a linked state, as found in the modern Cyanobacteria, is a derivation from these earlier phototrophs.


Datum: 16.09.2016


Far-red light photoacclimation (FaRLiP) in Synechococcus sp. PCC 7335. II.Characterization of phycobiliproteins produced during acclimation to far-red light

Abstract

Phycobilisomes (PBS) are antenna complexes that harvest light for photosystem (PS) I and PS II in cyanobacteria and some algae. A process known as far-red light photoacclimation (FaRLiP) occurs when some cyanobacteria are grown in far-red light (FRL). They synthesize chlorophylls d and f and remodel PS I, PS II, and PBS using subunits paralogous to those produced in white light. The FaRLiP strain, Leptolyngbya sp. JSC-1, replaces hemidiscoidal PBS with pentacylindrical cores, which are produced when cells are grown in red or white light, with PBS with bicylindrical cores when cells are grown in FRL. This study shows that the PBS of another FaRLiP strain, Synechococcus sp. PCC 7335, are not remodeled in cells grown in FRL. Instead, cells grown in FRL produce bicylindrical cores that uniquely contain the paralogous allophycocyanin subunits encoded in the FaRLiP cluster, and these bicylindrical cores coexist with red-light-type PBS with tricylindrical cores. The bicylindrical cores have absorption maxima at 650 and 711 nm and a low-temperature fluorescence emission maximum at 730 nm. They contain ApcE2:ApcF:ApcD3:ApcD2:ApcD5:ApcB2 in the approximate ratio 2:2:4:6:12:22, and a structural model is proposed. Time course experiments showed that bicylindrical cores were detectable about 48 h after cells were transferred from RL to FRL and that synthesis of red-light-type PBS continued throughout a 21-day growth period. When considered in comparison with results for other FaRLiP cyanobacteria, the results here show that acclimation responses to FRL can differ considerably among FaRLiP cyanobacteria.


Datum: 13.09.2016


Physiological acclimation of Lessonia spicata to diurnal changing PAR and UV radiation: differential regulation among down-regulation of photochemistry, ROS scavenging activity and phlorotannins as major photoprotective mechanisms

Abstract

Intertidal macroalgae are constantly subjected to high variations in the quality and quantity of incident irradiance that can eventually generate detrimental effect on the photosynthetic apparatus. The success of these organisms to colonize the stressful coastal habitat is mainly associated with the complexity of their morphological structures and the efficiency of the anti-stress mechanisms to minimize the physiological stress. Lessonia spicata (Phaeophyceae), a brown macroalga, that inhabits the intertidal zone in central–southern Chile was studied in regard to their physiological (quantum yield, electron transport rate, pigments) and biochemical (phlorotannins content, antioxidant metabolism, oxidative stress) responses during a daily light cycle under natural solar radiation. Major findings were that F v/F m, photosynthetic parameters (ETRmax, alpha, E k) and pigments in L. spicata showed an inverse relationship to the diurnal changes in solar radiation. Phlorotannins levels and antioxidant activity showed their highest values in treatment that included UV radiation. There was an increase in SOD and APX in relation at light stress, with a peak in activity between 5.2 and 10.1 W m−2 of biologically effective dose. The increase in peroxidative damage was proportional to light dose. These results indicated that different light doses can trigger a series of complementary mechanisms of acclimation in L. spicata based on: (i) down-regulation of photochemistry activity and decrease in concentration of photosynthetic pigments; (ii) induction of phenolic compounds with specific UV-screening functions; and (iii) reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenging activity via complementary repair of the oxidative damage through increased activity of antioxidant enzymes and potentially increased amounts of phenolic compounds.


Datum: 12.09.2016


Ultrafast spectroscopy tracks carotenoid configurations in the orange and red carotenoid proteins from cyanobacteria

Abstract

A quenching mechanism mediated by the orange carotenoid protein (OCP) is one of the ways cyanobacteria protect themselves against photooxidative stress. Here, we present a femtosecond spectroscopic study comparing OCP and RCP (red carotenoid protein) samples binding different carotenoids. We confirmed significant changes in carotenoid configuration upon OCP activation reported by Leverenz et al. (Science 348:1463–1466. doi: 10.1126/science.aaa7234, 2015) by comparing the transient spectra of OCP and RCP. The most important marker of these changes was the magnitude of the transient signal associated with the carotenoid intramolecular charge-transfer (ICT) state. While OCP with canthaxanthin exhibited a weak ICT signal, it increased significantly for canthaxanthin bound to RCP. On the contrary, a strong ICT signal was recorded in OCP binding echinenone excited at the red edge of the absorption spectrum. Because the carbonyl oxygen responsible for the appearance of the ICT signal is located at the end rings of both carotenoids, the magnitude of the ICT signal can be used to estimate the torsion angles of the end rings. Application of two different excitation wavelengths to study OCP demonstrated that the OCP sample contains two spectroscopically distinct populations, none of which is corresponding to the photoactivated product of OCP.


Datum: 09.09.2016


Cyclic electron flow: facts and hypotheses

Abstract

Over the last 15 years, research into the process of cyclic electron flow in photosynthesis has seen a huge resurgence. Having been considered by some in the early 1990s as a physiologically unimportant artefact, it is now recognised as essential to normal plant growth. Here, we provide an overview of the major developments covered in this special issue of photosynthesis research.


Datum: 01.09.2016


The antimycin A-sensitive pathway of cyclic electron flow: from 1963 to 2015

Abstract

Cyclic electron flow has puzzled and divided the field of photosynthesis researchers for decades. This mainly concerns the proportion of its overall contribution to photosynthesis, as well as its components and molecular mechanism. Yet, it is irrefutable that the absence of cyclic electron flow has severe effects on plant growth. One of the two pathways mediating cyclic electron flow can be inhibited by antimycin A, a chemical that has also widely been used to characterize the mitochondrial respiratory chain. For the characterization of cyclic electron flow, antimycin A has been used since 1963, when ferredoxin was found to be the electron donor of the pathway. In 2013, antimycin A was used to identify the PGRL1/PGR5 complex as the ferredoxin:plastoquinone reductase completing the last puzzle piece of this pathway. The controversy has not ended, and here, we review the history of research on this process using the perspective of antimycin A as a crucial chemical for its characterization.


Datum: 01.09.2016


Photoacclimation of photosynthesis in the Eustigmatophycean Nannochloropsis gaditana

Abstract

Nannochloropsis is an eukaryotic alga of the phylum Heterokonta, originating from a secondary endosymbiotic event. In this work, we investigated how the photosynthetic apparatus responds to growth in different light regimes in Nannochloropsis gaditana. We found that intense illumination induces the decrease of both photosystem I and II contents and their respective antenna sizes. Cells grown in high light showed a larger capacity for electron transport, with enhanced cyclic electron transport around photosystem I, contributing to photoprotection from excess illumination. Even when exposed to excess light intensities for several days, N. gaditana cells did not activate constitutive responses such as nonphotochemical quenching and the xanthophyll cycle. These photoprotection mechanisms in N. gaditana thus play a role in acclimation to fast changes in illumination within a time range of minutes, while regulation of the electron flow capacity represents a long-term response to prolonged exposure to excess light.


Datum: 01.09.2016


Obstacles in the quantification of the cyclic electron flux around Photosystem I in leaves of C3 plants

Abstract

Sixty years ago Arnon and co-workers discovered photophosphorylation driven by a cyclic electron flux (CEF) around Photosystem I. Since then understanding the physiological roles and the regulation of CEF has progressed, mainly via genetic approaches. One basic problem remains, however: quantifying CEF in the absence of a net product. Quantification of CEF under physiological conditions is a crucial prerequisite for investigating the physiological roles of CEF. Here we summarize current progress in methods of CEF quantification in leaves and, in some cases, in isolated thylakoids, of C3 plants. Evidently, all present methods have their own shortcomings. We conclude that to quantify CEF in vivo, the best way currently is to measure the electron flux through PS I (ETR1) and that through PS II and PS I in series (ETR2) for the whole leaf tissue under identical conditions. The difference between ETR1 and ETR2 is an upper estimate of CEF, mainly consisting, in C3 plants, of a major PGR5–PGRL1-dependent CEF component and a minor chloroplast NDH-dependent component, where PGR5 stands for Proton Gradient Regulation 5 protein, PGRL1 for PGR5-like photosynthesis phenotype 1, and NDH for Chloroplast NADH dehydrogenase-like complex. These two CEF components can be separated by the use of antimycin A to inhibit the former (major) component. Membrane inlet mass spectrometry utilizing stable oxygen isotopes provides a reliable estimation of ETR2, whilst ETR1 can be estimated from a method based on the photochemical yield of PS I, Y(I). However, some issues for the recommended method remain unresolved.


Datum: 01.09.2016


Accumulation of the components of cyclic electron flow around photosystem I in C 4 plants, with respect to the requirements for ATP

Abstract

By concentrating CO2, C4 photosynthesis can suppress photorespiration and achieve high photosynthetic efficiency, especially under conditions of high light, high temperature, and drought. To concentrate CO2, extra ATP is required, which would also require a change in photosynthetic electron transport in C4 photosynthesis from that in C3 photosynthesis. Several analyses have shown that the accumulation of the components of cyclic electron flow (CEF) around photosystem I, which generates the proton gradient across thylakoid membranes (ΔpH) and functions in ATP production without producing NADPH, is increased in various NAD-malic enzyme and NADP-malic enzyme C4 plants, suggesting that CEF may be enhanced to satisfy the increased need for ATP in C4 photosynthesis. However, in C4 plants, the accumulation patterns of the components of two partially redundant pathways of CEF, NAD(P)H dehydrogenase-like complex and PROTON GRADIENT REGULATION5–PGR5-like1 complex, are not identical, suggesting that these pathways may play different roles in C4 photosynthesis. Accompanying the increase in the amount of NDH, the expression of some genes which encode proteins involved in the assembly of NDH is also increased at the mRNA level in various C4 plants, suggesting that this increase is needed to increase the accumulation of NDH. To better understand the relation between CEF and C4 photosynthesis, a reverse genetic approach to generate C4 transformants with respect to CEF will be necessary.


Datum: 01.09.2016


Regulatory network of proton motive force: contribution of cyclic electron transport around photosystem I

Abstract

Cyclic electron transport around photosystem I (PSI) generates ∆pH across the thylakoid membrane without net production of NADPH. In angiosperms, two pathways of PSI cyclic electron transport operate. The main pathway depends on PGR5/PGRL1 proteins and is likely identical to the historical Arnon’s pathway. The minor pathway depends on chloroplast NADH dehydrogenase-like (NDH) complex. In assays of their rates in vivo, the two independent pathways are often mixed together. Theoretically, linear electron transport from water to NADP+ cannot satisfy the ATP/NADPH production ratio required by the Calvin-Benson cycle and photorespiration. PGR5/PGRL1-dependent PSI cyclic electron transport contributes substantially to the supply of ATP for CO2 fixation, as does linear electron transport. Also, the contribution of chloroplast NDH cannot be ignored, especially at low light intensity, although the extent of the contribution depends on the plant species. An increase in proton conductivity of ATP synthase may compensate ATP synthesis to some extent in the pgr5 mutant. Combined with the decreased rate of ∆pH generation, however, this mechanism sacrifices homeostasis of the thylakoid lumen pH, seriously disturbing the pH-dependent regulation of photosynthetic electron transport, induction of qE, and downregulation of the cytochrome b 6 f complex. PGR5/PGRL1-dependent PSI cyclic electron transport produces sufficient proton motive force for ATP synthesis and the regulation of photosynthetic electron transport.


Datum: 01.09.2016


Photorespiration provides the chance of cyclic electron flow to operate for the redox-regulation of P700 in photosynthetic electron transport system of sunflower leaves

Abstract

To elucidate the molecular mechanism to oxidize the reaction center chlorophyll, P700, in PSI, we researched the effects of partial pressure of O2 (pO2) on photosynthetic characteristic parameters in sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) leaves. Under low CO2 conditions, the oxidation of P700 was stimulated; however the decrease in pO2 suppressed its oxidation. Electron fluxes in PSII [Y(II)] and PSI [Y(I)] showed pO2-dependence at low CO2 conditions. H+-consumption rate, estimated from Y(II) and CO2-fixation/photorespiration rates (JgH+), showed the positive curvature relationship with the dissipation rate of electrochromic shift signal (V H + ), which indicates H+-efflux rate from lumen to stroma in chloroplasts. Therefore, these electron fluxes contained, besides CO2-fixation/photorespiration-dependent electron fluxes, non-H+-consumption electron fluxes including Mehler-ascorbate peroxidase (MAP)-pathway. Y(I) that was larger than Y(II) surely implies the functioning of cyclic electron flow (CEF). Both MAP-pathway and CEF were suppressed at lower pO2, with plastoquinone-pool reduced. That is, photorespiration prepares the redox-poise of photosynthetic electron transport system for CEF activity as an electron sink. Excess Y(II), [ΔY(II)] giving the curvature relationship with V H + , and excess Y(I) [ΔCEF] giving the difference between Y(I) and Y(II) were used as an indicator of MAP-pathway and CEF activity, respectively. Although ΔY(II) was negligible and did not show positive relationship to the oxidation-state of P700, ΔCEF showed positive linear relationship to the oxidation-state of P700. These facts indicate that CEF cooperatively with photorespiration regulates the redox-state of P700 to suppress the over-reduction in PSI under environmental stress conditions.


Datum: 01.09.2016


Cytochrome b 6 f function and localization, phosphorylation state of thylakoid membrane proteins and consequences on cyclic electron flow

Abstract

Both the structure and the protein composition of thylakoid membranes have an impact on light harvesting and electron transfer in the photosynthetic chain. Thylakoid membranes form stacks and lamellae where photosystem II and photosystem I localize, respectively. Light-harvesting complexes II can be associated to either PSII or PSI depending on the redox state of the plastoquinone pool, and their distribution is governed by state transitions. Upon state transitions, the thylakoid ultrastructure and lateral distribution of proteins along the membrane are subject to significant rearrangements. In addition, quinone diffusion is limited to membrane microdomains and the cytochrome b 6 f complex localizes either to PSII-containing grana stacks or PSI-containing stroma lamellae. Here, we discuss possible similarities or differences between green algae and C3 plants on the functional consequences of such heterogeneities in the photosynthetic electron transport chain and propose a model in which quinones, accepting electrons either from PSII (linear flow) or NDH/PGR pathways (cyclic flow), represent a crucial control point. Our aim is to give an integrated description of these processes and discuss their potential roles in the balance between linear and cyclic electron flows.


Datum: 01.09.2016


Interactive effects of nitrogen and light on growth rates and RUBISCO content of small and large centric diatoms

Abstract

Among marine phytoplankton groups, diatoms span the widest range of cell size, with resulting effects upon their nitrogen uptake, photosynthesis and growth responses to light. We grew two strains of marine centric diatoms differing by ~4 orders of magnitude in cell biovolume in high (enriched artificial seawater with ~500 µmol L−1 µmol L−1 NO3 ) and lower-nitrogen (enriched artificial seawater with <10 µmol L−1 NO3 ) media, across a range of growth light levels. Nitrogen and total protein per cell decreased with increasing growth light in both species when grown under the lower-nitrogen media. Cells growing under lower-nitrogen media increased their cellular allocation to RUBISCO and their rate of electron transport away from PSII, for the smaller diatom under low growth light and for the larger diatom across the range of growth lights. The smaller coastal diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana is able to exploit high nitrogen in growth media by up-regulating growth rate, but the same high-nitrogen growth media inhibits growth of the larger diatom species.


Datum: 26.08.2016


Influence of light and nitrogen on the photosynthetic efficiency in the C 4 plant Miscanthus  ×  giganteus

Abstract

There are numerous studies describing how growth conditions influence the efficiency of C4 photosynthesis. However, it remains unclear how changes in the biochemical capacity versus leaf anatomy drives this acclimation. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine how growth light and nitrogen availability influence leaf anatomy, biochemistry and the efficiency of the CO2 concentrating mechanism in Miscanthus × giganteus. There was an increase in the mesophyll cell wall surface area but not cell well thickness in the high-light (HL) compared to the low-light (LL) grown plants suggesting a higher mesophyll conductance in the HL plants, which also had greater photosynthetic capacity. Additionally, the HL plants had greater surface area and thickness of bundle-sheath cell walls compared to LL plants, suggesting limited differences in bundle-sheath CO2 conductance because the increased area was offset by thicker cell walls. The gas exchange estimates of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPc) activity were significantly less than the in vitro PEPc activity, suggesting limited substrate availability in the leaf due to low mesophyll CO2 conductance. Finally, leakiness was similar across all growth conditions and generally did not change under the different measurement light conditions. However, differences in the stable isotope composition of leaf material did not correlate with leakiness indicating that dry matter isotope measurements are not a good proxy for leakiness. Taken together, these data suggest that the CO2 concentrating mechanism in Miscanthus is robust under low-light and limited nitrogen growth conditions, and that the observed changes in leaf anatomy and biochemistry likely help to maintain this efficiency.


Datum: 16.08.2016


A two-component nonphotochemical fluorescence quenching in eustigmatophyte algae

Abstract

Eustigmatophyte algae represent an interesting model system for the study of the regulation of the excitation energy flow due to their use of violaxanthin both as a major light-harvesting pigment and as the basis of xanthophyll cycle. Fluorescence induction kinetics was studied in an oleaginous marine alga Nannochloropsis oceanica. Nonphotochemical fluorescence quenching was analyzed in detail with respect to the state of the cellular xanthophyll pool. Two components of nonphotochemical fluorescence quenching (NPQ), both dependent on the presence of zeaxanthin, were clearly resolved, denoted as slow and fast NPQ based on kinetics of their formation. The slow component was shown to be in direct proportion to the amount of zeaxanthin, while the fast NPQ component was transiently induced in the presence of membrane potential on subsecond timescales. The applicability of these observations to other eustigmatophyte species is demonstrated by measurements of other representatives of this algal group, both marine and freshwater.


Datum: 02.08.2016


A polymorphism in the oxygen-responsive repressor PpsR2 confers a growth advantage to Rhodopseudomonas palustris under low light

Abstract

The purple nonsulfur bacterium Rhodopseudomonas palustris grows aerobically using oxidative phosphorylation or anaerobically using photophosphorylation. The oxygen-responsive transcription regulator, PpsR2, regulates the transition to a phototrophic lifestyle by repressing transcription of photosynthesis genes during aerobic growth. Whereas most R. palustris strains have an arginine (Arg) at position 439 in the helix-turn-helix DNA-binding domain of this protein, some strains, including the well-studied strain CGA009, have a cysteine (Cys) at this position. Using allelic exchange, we found that the Cys439 in PpsR2 resulted in increased pigmentation and photosynthetic gene expression under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions. The Cys439 substitution also conferred a growth advantage to R. palustris at low light intensities. This indicates that variation in the PpsR2 protein results in R. palustris strains that have two different thresholds for derepressing photosynthesis genes in response to oxygen and light.


Datum: 01.08.2016






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