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Mar Biotechnol (NY). 2000 Sep;2(5):429-436.

Diel Patterns of Regulation of rbcL Transcription in a Cyanobacterium and a Prymnesiophyte.

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University of South Florida, 140 Seventh Avenue S., St. Petersburg, FL 33701, U.S.A.


Diel patterns of rbcL transcription, ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (RubisCO) activity, and whole cell carbon fixation were compared in the marine cyanobacterium Synechococcus PCC7002 and the chromophytic prymnesiophyte Pavlova gyrans. Both organisms were grown on a 12:12 light-dark cycle, with the light period starting at 0700. Strong diel patterns in these three aspects of carbon fixation occurred in both organisms, with maximal levels in the light period and minima in the dark. In Synechococcus, maximal rbcL transcript abundance occurred at noon and was followed by rapid disappearance. RubisCO enzyme activity and whole cell carbon fixation were elevated at 1600, and they disappeared over the next 8 hours. In contrast, in Pavlova, rbcL transcript abundance was maximal at 1600, and it was maintained at 66% of this level into the dark period (2000). Whole cell carbon fixation and RubisCO activity were elevated into the dark period (at 2000), being 77% and 81%, respectively, of the maximum. A similar diel pattern of cyanobacterial-like and chromophyte-like rbcL transcription has been observed in natural phytoplankton populations. These studies suggest that chromophytes are more adapted to take advantage of carbon fixation late in the day than cyanophytes.


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