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Photochem Photobiol Sci. 2008 Oct;7(10):1179-87. doi: 10.1039/b802435a. Epub 2008 Jul 3.

Accumulation of chlorophyllous pigments esterified with the geranylgeranyl group and photosynthetic competence in the CT2256-deleted mutant of the green sulfur bacterium Chlorobium tepidum.

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  • 1Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Ritsumeikan University, Kusatsu, Shiga 525-8577, Japan.


Green sulfur bacteria contain chlorophyllous pigments, chlorophyll (Chl) aPD and bacteriochlorophyll (BChl) aP, esterified with Delta2,6-phytadienol and phytol, respectively, which would be produced by reduction of the geranylgeranyl group at the C-17 propionate residue. In the genome of Chlorobium tepidum, two paralogous genes presumably encoding geranylgeranyl reductase, CT1232 and CT2256, are found. The deletion mutants of the CT1232 and CT2256 genes were constructed using an insertional inactivation method in order to clarify the biosynthetic process of the Delta2,6-phytadienyl and phytyl groups in green sulfur bacteria. The compositions of chlorophyllous pigments in the two mutants were determined by LC-MS analysis. The CT2256-deleted mutant accumulated Chl aGG and BChl aGG esterified with geranylgeraniol, indicating that CT2256 was involved in the production of both Delta2,6-phytadienyl and phytyl groups. The relatively high fluorescence emission from chlorosomes in the mutant also suggested some hindrance of the energy transfer from chlorosomes to the reaction center complex. However, the CT1232-deleted mutant almost showed no apparent phenotype compared to the wild type. Furthermore, the purple bacterium Rhodobacter capsulatus mutant defective in the bchP gene was partially complemented with the CT2256 gene; BChl aP was synthesized in the mutant in addition to accumulating other intermediates.

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