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J Biol Chem. 2007 Aug 31;282(35):25475-86. Epub 2007 Jun 12.

Anaerobic acclimation in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii: anoxic gene expression, hydrogenase induction, and metabolic pathways.

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  • 1Department of Plant Biology, Carnegie Institution, Stanford, California 94305, USA.


Both prokaryotic and eukaryotic photosynthetic microbes experience conditions of anoxia, especially during the night when photosynthetic activity ceases. In Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, dark anoxia is characterized by the activation of an extensive set of fermentation pathways that act in concert to provide cellular energy, while limiting the accumulation of potentially toxic fermentative products. Metabolite analyses, quantitative PCR, and high density Chlamydomonas DNA microarrays were used to monitor changes in metabolite accumulation and gene expression during acclimation of the cells to anoxia. Elevated levels of transcripts encoding proteins associated with the production of H2, organic acids, and ethanol were observed in congruence with the accumulation of fermentation products. The levels of over 500 transcripts increased significantly during acclimation of the cells to anoxic conditions. Among these were transcripts encoding transcription/translation regulators, prolyl hydroxylases, hybrid cluster proteins, proteases, transhydrogenase, catalase, and several putative proteins of unknown function. Overall, this study uses metabolite, genomic, and transcriptome data to provide genome-wide insights into the regulation of the complex metabolic networks utilized by Chlamydomonas under the anaerobic conditions associated with H2 production.

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