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Photosynth Res. 1995 Jul;45(1):51-60. doi: 10.1007/BF00032235.

Functional analysis of the iron-stress induced CP 43' polypeptide of PS II in the cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. PCC 7942.

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Department of Plant Sciences, University of Western Ontario, N6A SB7, London, Ontario, Canada.


Under conditions of iron-stress, the Photosystem II associated chlorophyll a protein complex designated CP 43', which is encoded by the isiA gene, becomes the major pigment-protein complex in Synechococcus sp. PCC 7942. The isiB gene, which is located immediately downstream of isiA, encodes the protein flavodoxin, which can functionally replace ferredoxin under conditions of iron stress. We have constructed two cyanobacterial insertion mutants which are lacking (i) the CP 43' apoprotein (designated isiA (-)) and (ii) flavodoxin (designated isiB (-)). The function of CP 43' was studied by comparing the cell characteristics, PS II functional absorption cross-sections and Chl a fluorescence parameters from the wild-type, isiA (-) and isiB (-) strains grown under iron-stressed conditions. In all strains grown under iron deprivation, the cell number doubling time was maintained despite marked changes in pigment composition and other cell characteristics. This indicates that iron-starved cells remained viable and that their altered phenotype suggests an adequate acclimation to low iron even in absence of CP 43' and/or flavodoxin. Under both iron conditions, no differences were detected between the three strains in the functional absorption crossection of PS II determined from single turnover flash saturation curves of Chl a fluorescence. This demonstrates that CP 43' is not part of the functional light-harvesting antenna for PS II. In the wild-type and the isiB (-) strain grown under iron-deficient conditions, CP 43' was present in the thylakoid membrane as an uncoupled Chl-protein complex. This was indicated by (1) an increase of the yield of prompt Chl a fluorescence (Fo) and (2) the persistence after PS II trap closure of a fast fluorescence decay component showing a maximum at 685 nm.


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