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Plant Physiol. Apr 1967; 42(4): 491–496.
PMCID: PMC1086571

Photosynthesis in Rhodospirillum rubrum. II. Photoheterotrophic Carbon Dioxide Fixation 1


The contribution of the reductive pentose phosphate cycle to the photometabolism of carbon dioxide and to carbon metabolism in Rhodospirillum rubrum grown photoheterotrophically with l-malate as the carbon source is nil, unlike autotrophically grown R. rubrum. Glycolic acid appears to be the first stable product of CO2 fixation in R. rubrum cultured photoheterotrophically on l-malate. The results obtained in 14CO2 fixation experiments suggest that the photometabolism of CO2 through glycolate into malate is a major pathway of CO2 fixation in such cells. However, l-malate was a much more efficient precursor of phosphate esters, and of glutamic acid, than was carbon dioxide; l-malate is therefore, in this case, a far more important source of cell carbon than is carbon dioxide.

The products of the light-dependent incorporation of CO2 and of acetate were investigated in R. rubrum grown photoheterotrophically on acetate. Carboxylation reactions and the reductive pentose phosphate cycle are apparently of greater significance in the photometabolism of acetate heterotrophs than in malate heterotrophs; the photometabolism of the acetate photoheterotrophs seems to be intermediate between the photoheterotrophy of malate heterotrophs and strict autotrophy.

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Selected References

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  • Anderson L, Fuller RC. Photosynthesis in Rhodospirillum rubrum. 3. Metabolic control of reductive pentose phosphate and tricarboxylic acid cycle enzymes. Plant Physiol. 1967 Apr;42(4):497–509. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Buchanan BB, Arnon DI. Ferredoxin-dependent synthesis of labelled pyruvate from labelled acetyl coenzyme A and carbon dioxide. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1965 Jul 12;20(2):163–168. [PubMed]
  • FULLER RC, SMILLIE RM, SISLER EC, KORNBERG HL. Carbon metabolism in Chromatium. J Biol Chem. 1961 Jul;236:2140–2149. [PubMed]
  • ORMEROD JG. The use of radioactive carbon dioxide in the measurement of carbon dioxide fixation in Rhodospirillum rubrum. Biochem J. 1956 Oct;64(2):373–380. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • RICHARDSON KE, TOLBERT NE. Oxidation of glyoxylic acid to oxalic acid by glycolic acid oxidase. J Biol Chem. 1961 May;236:1280–1284. [PubMed]
  • Stanier RY, Doudoroff M, Kunisawa R, Contopoulou R. THE ROLE OF ORGANIC SUBSTRATES IN BACTERIAL PHOTOSYNTHESIS. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1959 Aug;45(8):1246–1260. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • STERN JR. Enzymic activation and cleavage of D- and L-malate. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1963 Feb 5;69:435–438. [PubMed]

Articles from Plant Physiology are provided here courtesy of American Society of Plant Biologists


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