Bhalerao RP, Gillbro T, Gustafsson F
Functional Phycobilisome Core Structures in a Phycocyanin-Less Mutant of Cyanobacterium Synechococcus Sp Pcc-7942
Photosynthesis Research: 1995 45:61-70
We have constructed a mutant Synechococcus sp. PCC 7942, termed R2HECAT, in which the entire phycobilisome rod operon has been deleted. In the whole cell absorption spectra of R2HECAT, the peak corresponding to phycocyanin (PC), lambda max approximate to 620 nm, could not be detected. However, a single pigment-protein fraction with lambda max = 654 nm could be isolated on sucrose gradients from R2HECAT. Analysis of this pigment-protein fraction by non-denaturing PAGE indicates an apparent molecular mass of about 1200-1300 kDa. On exposure to low temperature, the isolated pigment-protein complex dissociated to a protein complex with a molecular mass of about 560 kDa. When analysed by SDS-PAGE, the pigment-protein fraction was found to consist of the core polypeptides but lacked PC, 27, 33, 30, and the 9 kDa polypeptides which are a part of the rods. All the chromophore bearing polypeptides of the core were found to be chromophorylated. CD as well as absorption spectra showed the expected maxima around 652 and 675 nm from allophycocyanin (APC) and allophycocyanin B (APC-B) chromophores. Low temperature fluorescence and excitation spectra also showed that the core particles were fully functional with respect to the energy transfer between the APC chromophores. We conclude that PC and therefore the rods are dispensable for the survival of Synechococcus sp. PCC 7942. The results indicate that stable and functional core can assemble in absence of the rods. These rod-less phycobilisome core is able to transfer energy to Photosystem II.
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