Far-red light allophycocyanin subunits play a role in chlorophyll d accumulation in far-red light

Donald A. Bryant, Gaozhong Shen, Gavin M. Turner, Nathan Soulier, Tatiana N. Laremore, Ming Yang Ho

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22 Scopus citations


Some terrestrial cyanobacteria acclimate to and utilize far-red light (FRL; λ = 700–800 nm) for oxygenic photosynthesis, a process known as far-red light photoacclimation (FaRLiP). A conserved, 20-gene FaRLiP cluster encodes core subunits of Photosystem I (PSI) and Photosystem II (PSII), five phycobiliprotein subunits of FRL-bicylindrical cores, and enzymes for synthesis of chlorophyll (Chl) f and possibly Chl d. Deletion mutants for each of the five apc genes of the FaRLiP cluster were constructed in Synechococcus sp. PCC 7335, and all had similar phenotypes. When the mutants were grown in white (WL) or red (RL) light, the cells closely resembled the wild-type (WT) strain grown under the same conditions. However, the WT and mutant strains were very different when grown under FRL. Mutants grown in FRL were unable to assemble FRL-bicylindrical cores, were essentially devoid of FRL-specific phycobiliproteins, but retained RL-type phycobilisomes and WL-PSII. The transcript levels for genes of the FaRLiP cluster in the mutants were similar to those in WT. Surprisingly, the Chl d contents of the mutant strains were greatly reduced (~ 60–99%) compared to WT and so were the levels of FRL-PSII. We infer that Chl d may be essential for the assembly of FRL-PSII, which does not accumulate to normal levels in the mutants. We further infer that the cysteine-rich subunits of FRL allophycocyanin may either directly participate in the synthesis of Chl d or that FRL bicylindrical cores stabilize FRL-PSII to prevent loss of Chl d.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-95
Number of pages15
JournalPhotosynthesis research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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