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J Biol Chem. 2003 Aug 15;278(33):31286-9. Epub 2003 May 28.

Plastocyanin is indispensable for photosynthetic electron flow in Arabidopsis thaliana.

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Abteilung für Pflanzenzüchtung und Ertragsphysiologie, Max-Planck-Institut für Züchtungsforschung, Carl-von-Linné-Weg 10, D-50829 Köln, Germany.


Plastocyanin is a soluble copper-containing protein present in the thylakoid lumen, which transfers electrons to photosystem I. In the chloroplast of the flowering plant Arabidopsis thaliana, a cytochrome c6-like protein is present, which was recently suggested to function as an alternative electron carrier to plastocyanin. We show that Arabidopsis plants mutated in both of the two plastocyanin-coding genes and with a functional cytochrome c6 cannot grow photoautotrophically because of a complete block in light-driven electron transport. Even increased dosage of the gene encoding the cytochrome c6-like protein cannot complement the double mutant phenotype. This demonstrates that in Arabidopsis only plastocyanin can donate electrons to photosystem I in vivo.

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