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Exchange and complementation of genes coding for photosynthetic reaction center core subunits among purple bacteria.
J. Mol. Evol.
PUBLISHED: 03-17-2014
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A mutant of the phototrophic species belonging to the ?-proteobacteria, Rubrivivax gelatinosus, lacking the photosynthetic growth ability was constructed by the removal of genes coding for the L, M, and cytochrome subunits of the photosynthetic reaction center complex. The L, M, and cytochrome genes derived from five other species of proteobacteria, Acidiphilium rubrum, Allochromatium vinosum, Blastochloris viridis, Pheospirillum molischianum, and Roseateles depolymerans, and the L and M subunits from two other species, Rhodobacter sphaeroides and Rhodopseudomonas palustris, respectively, have been introduced into this mutant. Introduction of the genes from three of these seven species, Rte. depolymerans, Ach. vinosum, and Psp. molischianum, restored the photosynthetic growth ability of the mutant of Rvi. gelatinosus, although the growth rates were 1.5, 9.4, and 10.7 times slower, respectively, than that of the parent strain. Flash-induced kinetic measurements for the intact cells of these three mutants showed that the photo-oxidized cytochrome c bound to the introduced reaction center complex could be rereduced by electron donor proteins of Rvi. gelatinosus with a t1/2 of less than 10 ms. The reaction center core subunits of photosynthetic proteobacteria appear to be exchangeable if the sequence identities of the LM core subunits between donor and acceptor species are high enough, i.e., 70% or more.
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Modulation of the redox state of quinones by light in Rhodobacter sphaeroides under anaerobic conditions.
Photosyn. Res.
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Illumination of intact cells of Rhodobacter sphaeroides under anaerobic conditions has a dual effect on the redox state of the quinone pool. A large oxidation of the quinone pool is observed during the first seconds following the illumination. This oxidation is suppressed by the addition of an uncoupler in agreement with a light-induced reverse electron transfer at the level of the complex I, present both in the non-invaginated part of the membrane and in the chromatophores. At longer dark times, this illumination increases the reducing power of the cells leading to a significant reduction of the others reaction centers (RCs). From the observation that a significant proportion of RCs could be reduced by the preillumination without affecting the numbers of charge separation for the RCs, we conclude that there is no rapid thermodynamic equilibrium between the quinones present in the non-invaginated part of the membrane and those localized in the chromatophores. Under anaerobic conditions where the chromatophores quinone pool is fully reduced, we deduce, on the basis of flash-induced fluorescence kinetics, that the reduced RCs are exclusively reoxidized by the quinone generated at the Q o site of the cyt bc 1 complex. The supramolecular association between a dimeric RC-LHI complex and one cyt bc 1 complex allows the confinement of a quinone between the RC-LHI directly associated to the cyt bc1 complex.
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Comparative genomics of aeschynomene symbionts: insights into the ecological lifestyle of nod-independent photosynthetic bradyrhizobia.
Genes (Basel)
PUBLISHED: 09-16-2011
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Tropical aquatic species of the legume genus Aeschynomene are stem- and root-nodulated by bradyrhizobia strains that exhibit atypical features such as photosynthetic capacities or the use of a nod gene-dependent (ND) or a nod gene-independent (NI) pathway to enter into symbiosis with legumes. In this study we used a comparative genomics approach on nine Aeschynomene symbionts representative of their phylogenetic diversity. We produced draft genomes of bradyrhizobial strains representing different phenotypes: five NI photosynthetic strains (STM3809, ORS375, STM3847, STM4509 and STM4523) in addition to the previously sequenced ORS278 and BTAi1 genomes, one photosynthetic strain ORS285 hosting both ND and NI symbiotic systems, and one NI non-photosynthetic strain (STM3843). Comparative genomics allowed us to infer the core, pan and dispensable genomes of Aeschynomene bradyrhizobia, and to detect specific genes and their location in Genomic Islands (GI). Specific gene sets linked to photosynthetic and NI/ND abilities were identified, and are currently being studied in functional analyses.
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The cyst-dividing bacterium Ramlibacter tataouinensis TTB310 genome reveals a well-stocked toolbox for adaptation to a desert environment.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 06-03-2011
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Ramlibacter tataouinensis TTB310(T) (strain TTB310), a betaproteobacterium isolated from a semi-arid region of South Tunisia (Tataouine), is characterized by the presence of both spherical and rod-shaped cells in pure culture. Cell division of strain TTB310 occurs by the binary fission of spherical "cyst-like" cells ("cyst-cyst" division). The rod-shaped cells formed at the periphery of a colony (consisting mainly of cysts) are highly motile and colonize a new environment, where they form a new colony by reversion to cyst-like cells. This unique cell cycle of strain TTB310, with desiccation tolerant cyst-like cells capable of division and desiccation sensitive motile rods capable of dissemination, appears to be a novel adaptation for life in a hot and dry desert environment. In order to gain insights into strain TTB310s underlying genetic repertoire and possible mechanisms responsible for its unusual lifestyle, the genome of strain TTB310 was completely sequenced and subsequently annotated. The complete genome consists of a single circular chromosome of 4,070,194 bp with an average G+C content of 70.0%, the highest among the Betaproteobacteria sequenced to date, with total of 3,899 predicted coding sequences covering 92% of the genome. We found that strain TTB310 has developed a highly complex network of two-component systems, which may utilize responses to light and perhaps a rudimentary circadian hourglass to anticipate water availability at the dew time in the middle/end of the desert winter nights and thus direct the growth window to cyclic water availability times. Other interesting features of the strain TTB310 genome that appear to be important for desiccation tolerance, including intermediary metabolism compounds such as trehalose or polyhydroxyalkanoate, and signal transduction pathways, are presented and discussed.
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The cytochrome c? involved in the nitrite reduction pathway acts also as electron donor to the photosynthetic reaction center in Rubrivivax gelatinosus.
Biochim. Biophys. Acta
PUBLISHED: 04-01-2010
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The purple photosynthetic bacterium Rubrivivax gelatinosus has, at least, four periplasmic electron carriers, i.e., HiPIP, two cytochromes c?with low- and high-midpoint potentials, and cytochrome c? as electron donors to the photochemical reaction center. The quadruple mutant lacking all four electron carrier proteins showed extremely slow photosynthetic growth. During the long-term cultivation of this mutant under photosynthetic conditions, a suppressor strain recovering the wild-type growth level appeared. In the cells of the suppressor strain, we found significant accumulation of a soluble c-type cytochrome that has not been detected in wild-type cells. This cytochrome c has a redox midpoint potential of about +280 mV and could function as an electron donor to the photochemical reaction center in vitro. The amino acid sequence of this cytochrome c was 65% identical to that of the high-potential cytochrome c?of this bacterium. The gene for this cytochrome c was identified as nirM on the basis of its location in the newly identified nir operon, which includes a gene coding cytochrome cd?-type nitrite reductase. Phylogenetic analysis and the well-conserved nir operon gene arrangement suggest that the origin of the three cytochromes c? in this bacterium is NirM. The two other cytochromes c?, of high and low potentials, proposed to be generated by gene duplication from NirM, have evolved to function in distinct pathways.
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Characterization of bacteriophytochromes from photosynthetic bacteria: histidine kinase signaling triggered by light and redox sensing.
Meth. Enzymol.
PUBLISHED: 03-01-2010
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Bacteria detect environmental changes, thanks to two-component signal-transduction systems, composed, in general, of a sensor coupled to a histidine kinase and a DNA binding response regulator. Anoxygenic photosynthetic bacteria like Rhodopseudomonas (Rps.) palustris, possess a highly versatile metabolism and can grow via photosynthesis using light energy or via respiration through oxygen consumption. For photosynthetic bacteria, detecting changes in light quality or quantity, or in oxygen concentration, is therefore of prime importance for adjusting their metabolism for optimal development. A central role is played by bacteriophytochromes for light detection and initiation of regulatory responses. The switch of these chromoproteins between two photointerconvertible forms is the first event in the light-regulated cascade. This chapter describes in vitro and in vivo methods that have been successfully used to investigate the bacteriophytochrome dependent light regulation pathways, in several strains of Rps. palustris and Bradyrhizobium. These approaches range from biochemical and biophysical methods to genetic techniques. Such multiple approaches are indispensable for understanding these complex light-regulated pathway. In a first step, bacteriophytochromes and associated response regulators are overexpressed in Escherichia coli and purified. The spectral and kinetic properties of the two photointerconvertible forms of the purified bacteriophytochromes are then determined by biophysical approaches. Original spectral and kinetic properties found in some of the bacteriophytochromes that we studied necessitated the development of new methods for computing the spectra of the pure forms and the photoconversion yields. In vitro biochemical approaches help to assess the histidine kinase activity of bacteriophytochromes depending on light conditions, the phosphotransfer to response regulators and their affinity to promoter DNA sequences. Finally, gene inactivation tests the importance of specific genes in photosynthesis regulation under particular light and oxygen tension growth conditions. The methods described in this chapter are not restricted to the study of the light-transduction pathways of Rps. palustris and Bradyrhizobium strains but are applicable to the understanding of any bacterial light-regulatory system.
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Cytochrome c4 can be involved in the photosynthetic electron transfer system in the purple bacterium Rubrivivax gelatinosus.
Biochemistry
PUBLISHED: 08-25-2009
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Three periplasmic electron carriers, HiPIP and two cytochromes c8 with low- and high-midpoint potentials, are present in the purple photosynthetic bacterium Rubrivivax gelatinosus. Comparison of the growth rates of mutants lacking one, two, or all three electron carrier proteins showed that HiPIP is the main electron donor to the photochemical reaction center and that high-potential cytochrome c8 plays a subsidiary role in the electron donation in photosynthetically growing cells. However, the triple deletion mutant was still capable of photosynthetic growth, indicating that another electron donor could be present. A new soluble cytochrome c, which can reduce the photooxidized reaction center in vitro, was purified. Based on amino acid sequence comparisons to known cytochromes, this cytochrome was identified as a diheme cytochrome c of the family of cytochromes c4. The quadruple mutant lacking this cytochrome and three other electron carriers showed about three times slower growth than the triple mutant under photosynthetic growth conditions. In conclusion, cytochrome c4 can function as a physiological electron carrier in the photosynthetic electron transport chain in R. gelatinosus.
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Menaquinone as pool quinone in a purple bacterium.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
PUBLISHED: 05-08-2009
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Purple bacteria have thus far been considered to operate light-driven cyclic electron transfer chains containing ubiquinone (UQ) as liposoluble electron and proton carrier. We show that in the purple gamma-proteobacterium Halorhodospira halophila, menaquinone-8 (MK-8) is the dominant quinone component and that it operates in the Q(B)-site of the photosynthetic reaction center (RC). The redox potentials of the photooxidized pigment in the RC and of the Rieske center of the bc(1) complex are significantly lower (E(m) = +270 mV and +110 mV, respectively) than those determined in other purple bacteria but resemble those determined for species containing MK as pool quinone. These results demonstrate that the photosynthetic cycle in H. halophila is based on MK and not on UQ. This finding together with the unusual organization of genes coding for the bc(1) complex in H. halophila suggests a specific scenario for the evolutionary transition of bioenergetic chains from the low-potential menaquinones to higher-potential UQ in the proteobacterial phylum, most probably induced by rising levels of dioxygen 2.5 billion years ago. This transition appears to necessarily proceed through bioenergetic ambivalence of the respective organisms, that is, to work both on MK- and on UQ-pools. The establishment of the corresponding low- and high-potential chains was accompanied by duplication and redox optimization of the bc(1) complex or at least of its crucial subunit oxidizing quinols from the pool, the Rieske protein. Evolutionary driving forces rationalizing the empirically observed redox tuning of the chain to the quinone pool are discussed.
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Photosynthetic system in Blastochloris viridis revisited.
Biochemistry
PUBLISHED: 04-29-2009
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The bacterium Blastochloris viridis carries one of the simplest photosynthetic systems, which includes a single light-harvesting complex that surrounds the reaction center, membrane soluble quinones, and a soluble periplasmic protein cytochrome c(2) that shuttle between the reaction center and the bc(1) complex and act as electron carriers, as well as the ATP synthase. The close arrangement of the photosynthetic membranes in Bl. viridis, along with the extremely tight arrangement of the photosystems within these membranes, raises a fundamental question about the diffusion of the electron carriers. To address this issue, we analyzed the structure and response of the Bl. viridis photosynthetic system to various light conditions, by using a combination of electron microscopy, whole-cell cryotomography, and spectroscopic methods. We demonstrate that in response to high light intensities, the ratio of both cytochrome c(2) and bc(1) complexes to the reaction centers is increased. The shorter membrane stacks, along with the notion that the bc(1) complex is located at the highly curved edges of these stacks, result in a smaller average distance between the reaction centers and the bc(1) complexes, leading to shorter pathways of cytochrome c(2) between the two complexes. Under anaerobic conditions, the slow diffusion rate is further mitigated by keeping most of the quinone pool reduced, resulting in a concentration gradient of quinols that allows for a constant supply of theses electron carriers to the bc(1) complex.
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Identification of novel genes putatively involved in the photosystem synthesis of Bradyrhizobium sp. ORS 278.
Photosyn. Res.
PUBLISHED: 04-06-2009
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In aerobic anoxygenic phototrophs, oxygen is required for both the formation of the photosynthetic apparatus and an efficient cyclic electron transfer. Mutants of Bradyrhizobium sp. ORS278 affected in photosystem synthesis were selected by a bacteriochlorophyll fluorescence-based screening. Out of the 9,600 mutants of a random Tn5 insertion library, 50 clones, corresponding to insertions in 28 different genes, present a difference in fluorescence intensity compared to the WT. Besides enzymes and regulators known to be involved in photosystem synthesis, 14 novel components of the photosynthesis control are identified. Among them, two genes, hsIU and hsIV, encode components of a protein degradation complex, probably linked to the renewal of photosystem, an important issue in Bradyrhizobia which have to deal with harmful reactive oxygen species. The presence of homologs in non-photosynthetic bacteria for most of the regulatory genes identified during study suggests that they could be global regulators, as the RegA-RegB system.
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Isolation and light-stimulated expression of canthaxanthin and spirilloxanthin biosynthesis genes from the photosynthetic bacterium Bradyrhizobium sp. strain ORS278.
Methods Mol. Biol.
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Some aerobic photosynthetic bacteria produce a cocktail of carotenoids, some of them being of a high economic value. A good example is the photosynthetic Bradyrhizobium sp. strain ORS278, which synthesizes, in addition to the photosynthetic carotenoid spirilloxanthin, large amounts of canthaxanthin. Here, we describe the procedures that have been successfully used to isolate the different crt genes involved in the synthesis of both carotenoids in this bacteria. The synthesis of these carotenoids is stimulated under far-red light by a bacteriophytochrome. The procedure we developed to study the effect of the light on carotenoids synthesis is also described. Finally, we describe a procedure to genetically transform photosynthetic Bradyrhizobium strain ORS278 for improvement of canthaxanthin production.
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Photo-induced electron transfer in intact cells of Rubrivivax gelatinosus mutants deleted in the RC-bound tetraheme cytochrome: insight into evolution of photosynthetic electron transport.
Biochim. Biophys. Acta
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Deletion of two of the major electron carriers, the reaction center-bound tetrahemic cytochrome and the HiPIP, involved in the light-induced cyclic electron transfer pathway of the purple photosynthetic bacterium, Rubrivivax gelatinosus, significantly impairs its anaerobic photosynthetic growth. Analysis on the light-induced absorption changes of the intact cells of the mutants shows, however, a relatively efficient photo-induced cyclic electron transfer. For the single mutant lacking the reaction center-bound cytochrome, we present evidence that the electron carrier connecting the reaction center and the cytochrome bc(1) complex is the High Potential Iron-sulfur Protein. In the double mutant lacking both the reaction center-bound cytochrome and the High Potential Iron-sulfur Protein, this connection is achieved by the high potential cytochrome c(8). Under anaerobic conditions, the halftime of re-reduction of the photo-oxidized primary donor by these electron donors is 3 to 4 times faster than the back reaction between P(+) and the reduced primary quinone acceptor. This explains the photosynthetic growth of these two mutants. The results are discussed in terms of evolution of the type II RCs and their secondary electron donors.
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The photosynthetic apparatus and photoinduced electron transfer in the aerobic phototrophic bacteria Roseicyclus mahoneyensis and Porphyrobacter meromictius.
Photosyn. Res.
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Photosynthetic electron transfer has been examined in whole cells, isolated membranes and in partially purified reaction centers (RCs) of Roseicyclus mahoneyensis, strain ML6 and Porphyrobacter meromictius, strain ML31, two species of obligate aerobic anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria. Photochemical activity in strain ML31 was observed aerobically, but the photosynthetic apparatus was not functional under anaerobic conditions. In strain ML6 low levels of photochemistry were measured anaerobically, possibly due to incomplete reduction of the primary electron acceptor (Q(A)) prior to light excitation, however, electron transfer occurred optimally under low oxygen conditions. Photoinduced electron transfer involves a soluble cytochrome c in both strains, and an additional reaction center (RC)-bound cytochrome c in ML6. The redox properties of the primary electron donor (P) and Q(A) of ML31 are similar to those previously determined for other aerobic phototrophs, with midpoint redox potentials of +463 mV and -25 mV, respectively. Strain ML6 showed a very narrow range of ambient redox potentials appropriate for photosynthesis, with midpoint redox potentials of +415 mV for P and +94 mV for Q(A). Cytoplasm soluble and photosynthetic complex bound cytochromes were characterized in terms of apparent molecular mass. Fluorescence excitation spectra revealed that abundant carotenoids not intimately associated with the RC are not involved in photosynthetic energy conservation.
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