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J Biol Rhythms. 2008 Jun;23(3):187-99. doi: 10.1177/0748730408316040.

Genome streamlining results in loss of robustness of the circadian clock in the marine cyanobacterium Prochlorococcus marinus PCC 9511.

Author information

1
Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris 06) and Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (UMR 7144), Station Biologique, France.

Abstract

The core oscillator of the circadian clock in cyanobacteria consists of 3 proteins, KaiA, KaiB, and KaiC. All 3 have previously been shown to be essential for clock function. Accordingly, most cyanobacteria possess at least 1 copy of each kai gene. One exception is the marine genus Prochlorococcus, which we suggest here has suffered a stepwise deletion of the kaiA gene, together with significant genome streamlining. Nevertheless, natural Prochlorococcus populations and laboratory cultures are strongly synchronized by the alternation of day and night, displaying 24-h rhythms in DNA replication, with a temporal succession of G1, S, and G2-like cell cycle phases. Using quantitative real-time PCR, we show here that in Prochlorococcus marinus PCC 9511, the mRNA levels of the clock genes kaiB and kaiC, as well as a few other selected genes including psbA, also displayed marked diel variations when cultures were kept under a light-dark rhythm. However, both cell cycle and psbA gene expression rhythms damped very rapidly under continuous light. In the closely related Synechococcus sp. WH8102, which possesses all 3 kai genes, cell cycle rhythms persisted over several days, in agreement with established cyanobacterial models. These data indicate a correlation between the loss of kaiA and a loss of robustness in the endogenous oscillator of Prochlorococcus and raise questions about how a basic KaiBC system may function and through which mechanism the daily "lights-on" and "lights-off" signal could be mediated.

PMID:
18487411
DOI:
10.1177/0748730408316040
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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