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Letter to Nature. Low-light-adapted Prochlorococcus species possess specific antennae for each photosystem

Bibby, T.S.; Mary, I.; Nield, J.; Partensky, F.; Barber, J.. 2003 Letter to Nature. Low-light-adapted Prochlorococcus species possess specific antennae for each photosystem. Nature, 424 (6952). 1051-1054. 10.1038/nature01933

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Abstract/Summary

Prochlorococcus, the most abundant genus of photosynthetic organisms, owes its remarkably large depth distribution in the oceans to the occurrence of distinct genotypes adapted to either low- or high-light niches. The pcb genes, encoding the major chlorophyll-binding, light-harvesting antenna proteins in this genus, are present in multiple copies in low-light strains but as a single copy in high-light strains. The basis of this differentiation, however, has remained obscure. Here we show that the moderate low-light-adapted strain Prochlorococcus sp. MIT 9313 has one iron-stress-induced pcb gene encoding an antenna protein serving photosystem I (PSI)—comparable to isiA genes from cyanobacteria—and a constitutively expressed pcb gene encoding a photosystem II (PSII) antenna protein. By comparison, the very low-light-adapted strain SS120 has seven pcb genes encoding constitutive PSI and PSII antennae, plus one PSI iron-regulated pcb gene, whereas the high-light-adapted strain MED4 has only a constitutive PSII antenna. Thus, it seems that the adaptation of Prochlorococcus to low light environments has triggered a multiplication and specialization of Pcb proteins comparable to that found for Cab proteins in plants and green algae.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1038/nature01933
ISSN: 0028-0836
Related URLs:
Date made live: 23 May 2006 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/137559

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