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J Bacteriol. 1996 Apr; 178(8): 2334–2342.
PMCID: PMC177942

Directed mutagenesis of the Rhodobacter capsulatus puhA gene and orf 214: pleiotropic effects on photosynthetic reaction center and light-harvesting 1 complexes.


Rhodobacter capsulatus puhA mutant strains containing either a nonpolar, translationally in-frame deletion or a polar insertion of an antibiotic resistance cartridge were constructed and evaluated for their photosynthetic growth properties, absorption spectroscopy profiles, and chromatophore protein compositions. Both types of mutants were found to be incapable of photosynthetic growth and deficient in the reaction center (RC) and light-harvesting 1 (LH1) complexes. The translationally in-frame puhA deletion strains were restored to the parental strain phenotypes by complementation with a plasmid containing the puhA gene, whereas the polar puhA mutants were not. Analogous nonpolar and polar disruptions of orf 214 (located immediately 3' of the puhA gene) were made, and the resultant mutant strains were evaluated as described above. The strain containing the nonpolar deletion of orf 214 exhibited severely impaired photosynthetic growth properties and had greatly reduced levels of the RC and LH1 complexes. Complementation of this strain with a plasmid that expressed orf 214 from the nifHDK promoter restored photosynthetic growth capability, as well as the RC and LH1 complexes. The polar disruption of orf 214 yielded cells that were incapable of photosynthetic growth and had even lower levels of the RC and LH1 complexes, and complementation in trans with orf 214 only marginally improved these deficiencies. These results indicate that orf 214 and at least one additional gene located 3' of orf 214 are required to obtain the RC and LH1 complexes, and transcription read-through from the puhA superoperon is necessary for optimal expression of these new photosynthesis genes.

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Selected References

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