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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.

The publisher is Springer. The copyright and publishing rights of specialized products listed below are in this publishing house. This is also responsible for the content shown.

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Additional research articles see Current Chemistry Research Articles. Magazines with similar content (photosynthesis):

 - Photosynthetica.



Photosynthesis Research - Abstracts



Investigation of electrocatalytic activity of a new mononuclear Mn(II) complex for water oxidation in alkaline media

Abstract

Water splitting is a promising way to alleviate the energy crisis. In nature, water oxidation is done by a tetranuclear manganese cluster in photosystem II. Therefore, the study of water oxidation by Mn complexes is attractive in water splitting systems. In this report, a new mononuclear Mn(II) complex, MnL2 (HL = (E)-3-hydroxy--(pyridin-2-ylmethylene)-2-naphthohydrazide) was prepared and characterized by spectroscopic techniques and single-crystal X-ray diffraction. Crystallographic analysis indicated that the geometry around the Mn(II) ion is distorted octahedral. The MnN4O2 coordination moiety is achieved by bounding of oxygen and two nitrogen donor atoms of two hydrazone ligands. The synthesized complex was also investigated for electrochemical water oxidation using electrochemical techniques, scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive spectrometry, and PXRD analysis. Linear sweep voltammetry experiment showed that the modified carbon paste electrode by the complex displays high activity for water oxidation reaction with an overpotential of 565 mV at a current density of 10 mA cm−2 and Tafel slope of 105 mV dec−1 in an alkaline solution. It was found that the complex structure finally changes during the reaction and converts to Mn oxide nanoparticles which act as active catalytic species and oxidize the water.

Graphical abstract


Datum: 28.06.2022


Dedication to Ron Pace

Abstract

Ron Pace (6 July 1946 to 4 January 2021) was a scientist of deep intellectual pursuits, an eager debater of the laws of nature, and an admired teacher, whose generous character and humorous spirit was a gift to his colleagues, collaborators, and students.


Datum: 27.06.2022


Preface: special issues on photosystem II


Datum: 27.06.2022


Binding and functions of the two chloride ions in the oxygen-evolving center of photosystem II

Abstract

Light-driven water oxidation in photosynthesis occurs at the oxygen-evolving center (OEC) of photosystem II (PSII). Chloride ions (Cl) are essential for oxygen evolution by PSII, and two Cl ions have been found to specifically bind near the Mn4CaO5 cluster in the OEC. The retention of these Cl ions within the OEC is critically supported by some of the membrane-extrinsic subunits of PSII. The functions of these two Cl ions and the mechanisms of their retention both remain to be fully elucidated. However, intensive studies performed recently have advanced our understanding of the functions of these Cl ions, and PSII structures from various species have been reported, aiding the interpretation of previous findings regarding Cl retention by extrinsic subunits. In this review, we summarize the findings to date on the roles of the two Cl ions bound within the OEC. Additionally, together with a short summary of the functions of PSII membrane-extrinsic subunits, we discuss the mechanisms of Cl retention by these extrinsic subunits.


Datum: 13.06.2022


Elucidating the role of adsorption during artificial photosynthesis: H2O and CO2 adsorption isotherms over TiO2 reveal thermal effects under UV illumination

Abstract

Adsorption measurements of CO2 and H2O over TiO2 surfaces in dark and under illumination were carried out to reveal the ensuing bottlenecks of the initial steps of the artificial photosynthesis reaction. When the adsorption isotherms of both CO2 and H2O were measured under illumination, the results were comparable to isotherms measured at higher temperatures in dark. This evidence is interpreted as the presence of hot spots, due to charge carrier recombination reactions. Differential heat of adsorption measurements revealed that H2O adsorption on TiO2 is stronger, and with a higher coverage than that of CO2. Dissociation of water is an energetically uphill reaction, and the local hot spots due to charge carrier recombination in indirect bandgap semiconductors can enhance the reaction probability. At higher temperatures, higher reaction probabilities are expected and estimated by a thermodynamic analysis for water splitting reaction. The potential role of these hot spots during natural and artificial photosynthetic reactions is discussed.


Datum: 10.06.2022


Quantum chemical elucidation of a sevenfold symmetric bacterial antenna complex

Abstract

The light-harvesting complex 2 (LH2) of purple bacteria is one of the most studied photosynthetic antenna complexes. Its symmetric structure and ring-like bacteriochlorophyll arrangement make it an ideal system for theoreticians and spectroscopists. LH2 complexes from most bacterial species are thought to have eightfold or ninefold symmetry, but recently a sevenfold symmetric LH2 structure from the bacterium Mch. purpuratum was solved by Cryo-Electron microscopy. This LH2 also possesses unique near-infrared absorption and circular dichroism (CD) spectral properties. Here we use an atomistic strategy to elucidate the spectral properties of Mch. purpuratum LH2 and understand the differences with the most commonly studied LH2 from Rbl. acidophilus. Our strategy exploits a combination of molecular dynamics simulations, multiscale polarizable quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics calculations, and lineshape simulations. Our calculations reveal that the spectral properties of LH2 complexes are tuned by site energies and exciton couplings, which in turn depend on the structural fluctuations of the bacteriochlorophylls. Our strategy proves effective in reproducing the absorption and CD spectra of the two LH2 complexes, and in uncovering the origin of their differences. This work proves that it is possible to obtain insight into the spectral tuning strategies of purple bacteria by quantitatively simulating the spectral properties of their antenna complexes.


Datum: 08.06.2022


Evolution of an intermediate C4 photosynthesis in the non-foliar tissues of the Poaceae

Abstract

Carbon concentrating mechanisms (CCMs) in plants are abaptive features that have evolved to sustain plant growth in unfavorable environments, especially at low atmospheric carbon levels and high temperatures. Uptake of CO2 and its storage in the aerenchyma tissues of Lycopsids and diurnal acidity fluctuation in aquatic plants during the Palaeozoic era (ca. 300 Ma.) would represent the earliest evolution of a CCM. The CCM parts of the dark reactions of photosynthesis have evolved many times, while the light reactions are conserved across plant lineages. A C4 type CCM, leaf C4 photosynthesis is evolved in the PACMAD clade of the Poaceae family. The evolution of C4 photosynthesis from C3 photosynthesis was an abaptation. Photosynthesis in reproductive tissues of sorghum and maize (PACMAD clade) has been shown to be of a weaker C4 type (high CO2 compensation point, low carbon isotope discrimination, and lack of Rubisco compartmentalization, when compared to the normal C4 types) than that in the leaves (normal C4 type). However, this does not fit well with the character polarity concept from an evolutionary perspective. In a recent model proposed for CCM evolution, the development of a rudimentary CCM prior to the evolution of a more efficient CCM (features contrasting to a weaker C4 type, leading to greater biomass production rate) has been suggested. An intermediate crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) type of CCM (rudimentary) was reported in the genera, Brassia, Coryanthes, Eriopsis, Peristeria, of the orchids (well-known group of plants that display the CAM pathway). Similarly, we propose here the evolution of a rudimentary CCM (C4-like type pathway) in the non-foliar tissues of the Poaceae, prior to the evolution of the C4 pathway as identified in the leaves of the C4 species of the PACMAD clade.


Datum: 01.06.2022


Genes encoding the photosystem II proteins are under purifying selection: an insight into the early evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis

Abstract

The molecular evolution concerns coding sequences (CDSs) of genes and may affect the structure and function of proteins. Non-uniform use of synonymous codons during translation, known as codon usage bias (CUB), depends on the balance between mutations bias and natural selection. We estimated different CUB indices, i.e. the effective number of codons (ENC), G + C content in the 3rd codon positions (GC3), and codon adaptation index for CDSs of intrinsic proteins of photosystem II (PSII), such as psbA (D1), psbD (D2), psbB (CP47), psbC (CP43), and CDSs of the extrinsic protein psbO (PsbO). These genes occur in all organisms that perform oxygenic photosynthesis (OP) on Earth: cyanobacteria, algae and plants. Comparatively, a similar analysis of codon bias for CDSs of L and M subunits that constitute the core proteins of the type II reaction centre (RCII) in anoxygenic bacteria was performed. Analysis of CUB indices and determination of the number of synonymous (dS) and nonsynonymous substitutions (dN) in all analysed CDSs indicated that the crucial PSII and RCII proteins were under strong purifying (negative) selection in course of evolution. Purifying selection was also estimated for CDSs of atpA, the α subunit of ATP synthase, an enzyme that was most likely already present in the last universal common ancestor (LUCA). The data obtained point to an ancient origin of OP, even in the earliest stages of the evolution of life on Earth.


Datum: 01.06.2022


Effects of suppression of chloroplast phosphoglycerate kinase on photosynthesis in rice

Abstract

As chloroplast phosphoglycerate kinase (cpPGK) is one of the enzymes which has the highest capacity among the Calvin–Benson cycle enzymes, it has not been regarded as a determinant for photosynthetic capacity. However, it was reported that the rate of CO2 assimilation decreased under high irradiance and normal [CO2] levels in the Arabidopsis cpPGK-knockdown mutant, implying that cpPGK has a control over photosynthetic capacity at a normal [CO2] level. In the present study, the contribution of cpPGK to photosynthetic capacity was evaluated in transgenic rice plants with decreased amounts of cpPGK protein under high irradiance and various [CO2] levels. The gene encoding cpPGK was suppressed using RNA interference techniques. Two lines of transgenic plants, Pi3 and Pi5, in which the amount of cpPGK protein decreased to 21% and 76% of that in wild-type plants, respectively, were obtained. However, there was no substantial difference in the rates of CO2 assimilation between wild-type and transgenic plants. The rates of CO2 assimilation decreased only slightly at elevated [CO2] levels in the transgenic line Pi3 and did not differ between wild-type plants and the transgenic line Pi5, irrespective of [CO2] level. These results clearly indicate that cpPGK does not have a strong control over photosynthetic capacity at various [CO2] levels in rice.


Datum: 30.05.2022


Reactive oxygen species in photosystem II: relevance for oxidative signaling

Abstract

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are formed in photosystem II (PSII) under various types of abiotic and biotic stresses. It is considered that ROS play a role in chloroplast-to-nucleus retrograde signaling, which changes the nuclear gene expression. However, as ROS lifetime and diffusion are restricted due to the high reactivity towards biomolecules (lipids, pigments, and proteins) and the spatial specificity of signal transduction is low, it is not entirely clear how ROS might transduce signal from the chloroplasts to the nucleus. Biomolecule oxidation was formerly connected solely with damage; nevertheless, the evidence appears that oxidatively modified lipids and pigments are be involved in chloroplast-to-nucleus retrograde signaling due to their long diffusion distance. Moreover, oxidatively modified proteins show high spatial specificity; however, their role in signal transduction from chloroplasts to the nucleus has not been proven yet. The review attempts to summarize and evaluate the evidence for the involvement of ROS in oxidative signaling in PSII.


Datum: 28.05.2022


Remembering James Barber (1940–2020)

Abstract

James Barber, known to colleagues and friends as Jim, passed away in January 2020 after a long battle against cancer. During his long and distinguished career in photosynthesis research, Jim made many outstanding contributions with the pinnacle achieving his dream of determining the first detailed structure of the Mn cluster involved in photosynthetic water oxidation. Here, colleagues and friends remember Jim and reflect upon his scientific career and the impact he had on their lives and the scientific community.


Datum: 09.05.2022


Effects of mutations of D1-R323, D1-N322, D1-D319, D1-H304 on the functioning of photosystem II in Thermosynechococcus vulcanus

Abstract

Photosystem II (PSII) has a number of hydrogen-bonding networks connecting the manganese cluster with the lumenal bulk solution. The structure of PSII from Thermosynechococcus vulcanus (T. vulcanus) showed that D1-R323, D1-N322, D1-D319 and D1-H304 are involved in one of these hydrogen-bonding networks located in the interfaces between the D1, CP43 and PsbV subunits. In order to investigate the functions of these residues in PSII, we generated seven site-directed mutants D1-R323A, D1-R323E, D1-N322R, D1-D319L, D1-D319R, D1-D319Y and D1-H304D of T. vulcanus and examined the effects of these mutations on the growth and functions of the oxygen-evolving complex. The photoautotrophic growth rates of these mutants were similar to that of the wild type, whereas the oxygen-evolving activities of the mutant cells were decreased differently to 63–91% of that of the wild type at pH 6.5. The mutant cells showed a higher relative activity at higher pH region than the wild type cells, suggesting that higher pH facilitated proton egress in the mutants. In addition, oxygen evolution of thylakoid membranes isolated from these mutants showed an apparent decrease compared to that of the cells. This is due to the loss of PsbU during purification of the thylakoid membranes. Moreover, PsbV was also lost in the PSII core complexes purified from the mutants. Taken together, D1-R323, D1-N322, D1-D319 and D1-H304 are vital for the optimal function of oxygen evolution and functional binding of extrinsic proteins to PSII core, and may be involved in the proton egress pathway mediated by YZ.


Datum: 03.05.2022


Acclimation of the photosynthetic apparatus to low light in a thermophilic Synechococcus sp. strain

Abstract

Depending upon their growth responses to high and low irradiance, respectively, thermophilic Synechococcus sp. isolates from microbial mats associated with the effluent channels of Mushroom Spring, an alkaline siliceous hot spring in Yellowstone National Park, can be described as either high-light (HL) or low-light (LL) ecotypes. Strains isolated from the bottom of the photic zone grow more rapidly at low irradiance compared to strains isolated from the uppermost layer of the mat, which conversely grow better at high irradiance. The LL-ecotypes develop far-red absorbance and fluorescence emission features after growth in LL. These isolates have a unique gene cluster that encodes a putative cyanobacteriochrome denoted LcyA, a putative sensor histidine kinase; an allophycocyanin (FRL-AP; ApcD4-ApcB3) that absorbs far-red light; and a putative chlorophyll a-binding protein, denoted IsiX, which is homologous to IsiA. The emergence of FRL absorbance in LL-adapted cells of Synechococcus sp. strain A1463 was analyzed in cultures responding to differences in light intensity. The far-red absorbance phenotype arises from expression of a novel antenna complex containing the FRL-AP, ApcD4-ApcB3, which is produced when cells were grown at very low irradiance. Additionally, the two GAF domains of LcyA were shown to bind phycocyanobilin and a [4Fe-4S] cluster, respectively. These ligands potentially enable this photoreceptor to respond to a variety of environmental factors including irradiance, redox potential, and/or oxygen concentration. The products of the gene clusters specific to LL-ecotypes likely facilitate growth in low-light environments through a process called Low-Light Photoacclimation.


Datum: 20.04.2022


Temperature dependence of the formation of the g ~ 5 EPR signal in the oxygen evolving complex of photosystem II

Abstract

The temperature dependence of the formation of the g ~ 5 S2 state electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) signal in photosystem II (PSII) was investigated. The g ~ 5 signal was produced at an illumination above 200 K. The half inhibition temperature of the formation of the g ~ 5 EPR signal was approximately 215 K. The half inhibition temperature is close to that of the transition from the S2 state-to-S3 state in the untreated PSII, and not to that of the transition from S1 state -to-S2 state in the untreated PSII. The upshift of the half inhibition temperature of the transition from the S1 state -to-S2 state (g ~ 5) reflects the structural change upon transition from the S1 state to the S2 state. The activation energy of the g ~ 5 state formation was estimated as 40.7 ± 4.4 kJ/mol, which is comparable to the reported activation energy for the S2 formation in the untreated PSII. The activation enthalpy and entropy were estimated to be 39.0 ± 4.4 kJ/mol and − 103 ± 19 J/mol K at 210 K, respectively. Based on these parameters, the formation process of the g ~ 5 state is discussed in this study.


Datum: 18.04.2022


From manganese oxidation to water oxidation: assembly and evolution of the water-splitting complex in photosystem II

Abstract

The manganese cluster of photosystem II has been the focus of intense research aiming to understand the mechanism of H2O-oxidation. Great effort has also been applied to investigating its oxidative photoassembly process, termed photoactivation that involves the light-driven incorporation of metal ions into the active Mn4CaO5 cluster. The knowledge gained on these topics has fundamental scientific significance, but may also provide the blueprints for the development of biomimetic devices capable of splitting water for solar energy applications. Accordingly, synthetic chemical approaches inspired by the native Mn cluster are actively being explored, for which the native catalyst is a useful benchmark. For both the natural and artificial catalysts, the assembly process of incorporating Mn ions into catalytically active Mn oxide complexes is an oxidative process. In both cases this process appears to share certain chemical features, such as producing an optimal fraction of open coordination sites on the metals to facilitate the binding of substrate water, as well as the involvement of alkali metals (e.g., Ca2+) to facilitate assembly and activate water-splitting catalysis. This review discusses the structure and formation of the metal cluster of the PSII H2O-oxidizing complex in the context of what is known about the formation and chemical properties of different Mn oxides. Additionally, the evolutionary origin of the Mn4CaO5 is considered in light of hypotheses that soluble Mn2+ was an ancient source of reductant for some early photosynthetic reaction centers (‘photomanganotrophy’), and recent evidence that PSII can form Mn oxides with structural resemblance to the geologically abundant birnessite class of minerals. A new functional role for Ca2+ to facilitate sustained Mn2+ oxidation during photomanganotrophy is proposed, which may explain proposed physiological intermediates during the likely evolutionary transition from anoxygenic to oxygenic photosynthesis.


Datum: 09.04.2022


Light-harvesting complex gene regulation by a MYB-family transcription factor in the marine diatom, Phaeodactylum tricornutum

Abstract

Unicellular photoautotrophs adapt to variations in light intensity by changing the abundance of light harvest pigment-protein complexes (LHCs) on time scales of hours to days. This process requires a feedback signal between the plastid (where light intensity is sensed) to the nucleus (where the genes for LHCs are encoded). The signals must include heretofore unidentified transcription factors that modify the expression level of the LHCs. Analysis of the nuclear genome of the model diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum revealed that all the lhc genes have potential binding sites for transcription factors belonging to the MYB-family proteins. Functional studies involving antisense RNA interference of a hypothetical protein with a MYB DNA-binding domain were performed. The resultant strains with altered photosynthetic and physiological characteristics lost their ability to acclimate to changes in irradiance; i.e., cellular chlorophyll content became independent of growth irradiance. Our results strongly suggest that the inter-organellar signaling cascade was disrupted, and the cell could no longer communicate the environmental signal from the plastid to the nucleus. Here, we identify, for the first time, an LHC Regulating Myb (LRM) transcription factor, which we propose is involved in lhc gene regulation and photoacclimation mechanisms in response to changes in light intensity.


Datum: 07.04.2022


The redox state of the plastoquinone (PQ) pool is connected to thylakoid lipid saturation in a marine diatom

Abstract

The redox state of the plastoquinone (PQ) pool is a known sensor for retrograde signaling. In this paper, we asked, “does the redox state of the PQ pool modulate the saturation state of thylakoid lipids?” Data from fatty acid composition and mRNA transcript abundance analyses suggest a strong connection between these two aspects in a model marine diatom. Fatty acid profiles of Phaeodactylum tricornutum exhibited specific changes when the redox state of the PQ pool was modulated by light and two chemical inhibitors [3-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-1,1-dimethylurea (DCMU) or 2,5-dibromo-3-methyl-6-isopropyl-p-benzoquinone (DBMIB)]. Data from liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS) indicated a ca. 7–20% decrease in the saturation state of all four conserved thylakoid lipids in response to an oxidized PQ pool. The redox signals generated from an oxidized PQ pool in plastids also increased the mRNA transcript abundance of nuclear-encoded C16 fatty acid desaturases (FADs), with peak upregulation on a timescale of 6 to 12 h. The connection between the redox state of the PQ pool and thylakoid lipid saturation suggests a heretofore unrecognized retrograde signaling pathway that couples photosynthetic electron transport and the physical state of thylakoid membrane lipids.


Datum: 07.04.2022


Remembering Robert (Bob) Togasaki (1932–2019): A leader in Chlamydomonas genetics and in plant biology, as well as a teacher par excellence

Abstract

Robert (Bob) K. Togasaki was devoted to science and the people in the scientific community. He elucidated some of the most fundamental aspects of photosynthesis and carbon metabolism through classic genetic approaches and later using the tools of modern biotechnology. Along the way, he freely shared his ideas and enthusiasm with established scientists, junior researchers, graduate students, and even elementary students. His career trajectory led him to work with some of the leaders in the field, including the late Martin Gibbs and R. Paul Levine. His dedicated research has led to a more complete understanding of some of the core biochemical functions relating to photosynthesis of the green alga Chlamydomonas; this has included carbon-concentrating mechanisms, hydrogenases, and superoxide dismutase to name just a few. The focus of this Tribute is personal reminiscences by his postdoctoral advisor R. Paul Levine; his collaborators Teruo Ogawa, Jean-David Rochaix, Hidehiro Sakurai, Michael Seibert; and by his students William Belknap, Susan Carlson, Charlene Forest, Arthur Grossman, Gregory Katzman, Masahiko Kitayama, and Jon Suzuki. All remember Bob Togasaki for his intellect, dedication to science education, and his unwavering goodwill and optimism towards his fellow human beings.


Datum: 01.04.2022


Plastoquinone homeostasis in plant acclimation to light intensity

Abstract

Arabidopsis plants were grown from seeds at different photon flux densities (PFDs) of white light ranging from 65 to 800 µmol photons m−2 s−1. Increasing PFD brought about a marked accumulation of plastoquinone (PQ) in leaves. However, the thylakoid photoactive PQ pool, estimated to about 700 pmol mg−1 leaf dry weight, was independent of PFD; PQ accumulation in high light mostly occurred in the photochemically non-active pool (plastoglobules, chloroplast envelopes) which represented up to 75% of total PQ. The amounts of PSII reaction center (on a leaf dry weight basis) also were little affected by PFD during growth, leading to a constant PQ/PSII ratio at all PFDs. Boosting PQ biosynthesis by overexpression of a solanesyl diphosphate-synthesizing enzyme strongly enhanced the PQ levels, particularly at high PFDs. Again, this accumulation occurred exclusively in the non-photoactive PQ pool. Mutational suppression of the plastoglobular ABC1K1 kinase led to a selective reduction of the thylakoid PQ pool size to ca. 400 pmol mg−1 in a large range of PFDs, which was associated with a restriction of the photosynthetic electron flow. Our results show that photosynthetic acclimation to light intensity does not involve modulation of the thylakoid PQ pool size or the amounts of PSII reaction centers. There appears to be a fixed amount of PQ molecules for optimal interaction with PSII and efficient photosynthesis, with the extra PQ molecules being stored outside the thylakoid membranes, implying a tight regulation of PQ distribution within the chloroplasts.


Datum: 01.04.2022


Rubiscosome gene expression is balanced across the hexaploid wheat genome

Abstract

Functional and active Rubisco is essential for CO2 fixation and is a primary target for engineering approaches to increasing crop yields. However, the assembly and maintenance of active Rubisco are dependent on the coordinated biosynthesis of at least 11 nuclear-encoded proteins, termed the ‘Rubiscosome’. Using publicly available gene expression data for wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), we show that the expression of Rubiscosome genes is balanced across the three closely related subgenomes that form the allohexaploid genome. Each subgenome contains a near complete set of homoeologous genes and contributes equally to overall expression, both under optimal and under heat stress conditions. The expression of the wheat thermo-tolerant Rubisco activase isoform 1β increases under heat stress and remains balanced across the subgenomes, albeit with a slight shift towards greater contribution from the D subgenome. The findings show that the gene copies in all three subgenomes need to be accounted for when designing strategies for crop improvement.


Datum: 01.04.2022


 


Category: Current Chemistry Research

Last update: 28.03.2018.






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