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Planta. 2009 Sep;230(4):625-37. doi: 10.1007/s00425-009-0972-9. Epub 2009 Jul 4.

Photorespiratory 2-phosphoglycolate metabolism and photoreduction of O2 cooperate in high-light acclimation of Synechocystis sp. strain PCC 6803.

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Abteilung Pflanzenphysiologie, Institut für Biowissenschaften, Universität Rostock, 18059 Rostock, Germany.


In cyanobacteria, photorespiratory 2-phosphoglycolate (2PG) metabolism is mediated by three different routes, including one route involving the glycine decarboxylase complex (Gcv). It has been suggested that, in addition to conversion of 2PG into non-toxic intermediates, this pathway is important for acclimation to high-light. The photoreduction of O(2) (Mehler reaction), which is mediated by two flavoproteins Flv1 and Flv3 in cyanobacteria, dissipates excess reductants under high-light by the four electron-reduction of oxygen to water. Single and double mutants defective in these processes were constructed to investigate the relation between photorespiratory 2PG-metabolism and the photoreduction of O(2) in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. The single mutants Deltaflv1, Deltaflv3, and DeltagcvT, as well as the double mutant Deltaflv1/DeltagcvT, were completely segregated but not the double mutant Deltaflv3/DeltagcvT, suggesting that the T-protein subunit of the Gcv (GcvT) and Flv3 proteins cooperate in an essential process. This assumption is supported by the following results: (1) The mutant Deltaflv3/DeltagcvT showed a considerable longer lag phase and sometimes bleached after shifts from slow (low light, air CO(2)) to rapid (standard light, 5% CO(2)) growing conditions. (2) Photoinhibition experiments indicated a decreased ability of the mutant Deltaflv3/DeltagcvT to cope with high-light. (3) Fluorescence measurements showed that the photosynthetic electron chain is reduced in this mutant. Our data suggest that the photorespiratory 2PG-metabolism and the photoreduction of O(2), particularly that catalyzed by Flv3, cooperate during acclimation to high-light stress in cyanobacteria.

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