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Plant Cell Physiol. 2007 Nov;48(11):1517-23. Epub 2007 Oct 11.

Digalactosyldiacylglycerol is required for better photosynthetic growth of Synechocystis sp. PCC6803 under phosphate limitation.

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Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Saitama University, Saitama, 338-8570 Japan.


Digalactosyldiacylglycerol (DGDG) is a typical membrane lipid of oxygenic photosynthetic organisms. Although DGDG synthase genes have been isolated from plants, no homologous gene has been annotated in the genomes of cyanobacteria and the unicellular red alga Cyanidioschyzon merolae. Here we used a comparative genomics approach and identified a non-plant-type DGDG synthase gene (designated dgdA) in Synechocystis sp. PCC6803. The enzyme produced DGDG in Escherichia coli when co-expressed with a cucumber monogalactosyldiacylglycerol synthase. A DeltadgdA knock-out mutant showed no obvious phenotype other than loss of DGDG when grown in a BG11 medium, indicating that DGDG is dispensable under optimal conditions. However, the mutant showed reduced growth under phosphate-limited conditions, suggesting that DGDG may be required under phosphate-limited conditions, such as those in natural niches of cyanobacteria.

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