Funk C, Alami M, Tibiletti T, Green BR
High light stress and the one-helix LHC-like proteins of the cryptophyte Guillardia theta
Biochim Biophys Acta.: 2011, 1807(7):841-6

Cryptophytes like the cryptomonad Guillardia theta are part of the marine phytoplankton and therefore major players in global carbon and biogeochemical cycles. Despite the importance for the cell in being able to cope with large changes in illumination on a daily basis, very little is known about photoprotection mechanisms in cryptophytes. Here, we show that Guillardia theta is able to perform non-photochemical quenching, although none of the usual xanthophyll cycle pigments (e.g., zeaxanthin, diadinoxanthin, diatoxanthin) are present at detectable levels. Instead, acclimation to high light intensity seems to involve an increase of alloxanthin. Guillardia theta has genes for 2 one-helix "light-harvesting-like" proteins, related to some cyanobacterial genes which are induced in response to high light stress. Both the plastid-encoded gene (hlipP) and the nucleomorph-encoded gene (HlipNm) are expressed, but transcript levels decrease rather than increase during high light exposure, suggesting that they are not involved in a high light stress response. The HlipNm protein was detected with a specific antibody; expression was constant, independent of the light exposure.

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