- In photosynthetic organisms, photosystem II (PSII) is a large membrane protein complex, consisting of a pair of core complexes surrounded by an array of variable numbers of light-harvesting complex (LHC) II proteins. Previously reported structures of the PSII–LHCII supercomplex of the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii exhibit significant structural heterogeneity, but recently improved purification methods employing ionic amphipol A8-35 have enhanced supercomplex stability, providing opportunities for determining a more intact structure.
- Photosystem I (PSI) is a large pigment–protein complex mediating light-driven charge separation and generating a highly negative redox potential, which is eventually utilized to produce organic matter. In plants and algae, PSI possesses outer antennae, termed light-harvesting complex I (LHCI), which increase the energy flux to the reaction center. The number of outer antennae for PSI in the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is known to be larger than that of land plants. However, their exact number and location remain to be elucidated.
- Phycoerythrin (PE) is a green light–absorbing protein present in the light-harvesting complex of cyanobacteria and red algae. The spectral characteristics of PE are due to its prosthetic groups, or phycoerythrobilins (PEBs), that are covalently attached to the protein chain by specific bilin lyases. Only two PE lyases have been identified and characterized so far, and the other bilin lyases are unknown. Here, using in silico analyses, markerless deletion, biochemical assays with purified and recombinant proteins, and site-directed mutagenesis, we examined the role of a putative lyase-encoding gene, cpeF, in the cyanobacterium Fremyella diplosiphon.
- In green algae, light-harvesting complex stress-related 3 (LHCSR3) is responsible for the pH-dependent dissipation of absorbed light energy, a function vital for survival under high-light conditions. LHCSR3 binds the photosystem II and light-harvesting complex II (PSII–LHCII) supercomplex and transforms it into an energy-dissipative form under acidic conditions, but the molecular mechanism remains unclear. Here we show that in the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, LHCSR3 modulates the excitation energy flow and dissipates the excitation energy within the light-harvesting complexes of the PSII supercomplex.
- Genetic and genomic studies indicate that copper deficiency triggers changes in the expression of genes encoding key enzymes in various chloroplast-localized lipid/pigment biosynthetic pathways. Among these are CGL78 involved in chlorophyll biosynthesis and HPPD1, encoding 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase catalyzing the committed step of plastoquinone and tocopherol biosyntheses. Copper deficiency in wild-type cells does not change the chlorophyll content, but a survey of chlorophyll protein accumulation in this situation revealed increased accumulation of LHCSR3, which is blocked at the level of mRNA accumulation when either CGL78 expression is reduced or in the crd1 mutant, which has a copper-nutrition conditional defect at the same step in chlorophyll biosynthesis.
- Non-photochemical quenching of excess excitation energy is an important photoprotective mechanism in photosynthetic organisms. In Arabidopsis thaliana, a high quenching capacity is constitutively present and depends on the PsbS protein. In the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, non-photochemical quenching becomes activated upon high light acclimation and requires the accumulation of light harvesting complex stress-related (LHCSR) proteins. Expression of the PsbS protein in C. reinhardtii has not been reported yet.
- The light reactions of photosynthesis, which include light-harvesting and charge separation, take place in the amphiphilic environment of the thylakoid membrane. The light-harvesting complex II (LHCII) is the main responsible for light absorption in plants and green algae and is involved in photoprotective mechanisms that regulate the amount of excited states in the membrane. The dual function of LHCII has been extensively studied in detergent micelles, but recent results have indicated that the properties of this complex differ in a lipid environment.
- Background: The structure and flexibility of hydrophilic LHCII domains in an aqueous environment are only partially known.Results: The structure and flexibility of the N-terminal and lumenal loop domains are analyzed by EPR distance measurements.Conclusion: The N terminus covers only part of the stromal LHCII surface, and the lumenal loop contains a highly flexible section.Significance: The structural information presented helps to understand regulatory LHCII functions in photosynthesis.
- Background: LHCSR protein in algae and mosses is essential for NPQ.Results: Expression and characterization of Physcomitrella patens LHCSR1 protein upon heterologous expression in N. benthamiana and N. tabacum was obtained.Conclusion: LHCSR1 is the first member of LHC protein family lacking Chlorophyll b. It is active in NPQ.Significance: LHCSR1 isolation is crucial for the elucidation of the NPQ mechanism.