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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1998 Jul 15;164(2):353-61.

Insertional inactivation studies of the csmA and csmC genes of the green sulfur bacterium Chlorobium vibrioforme 8327: the chlorosome protein CsmA is required for viability but CsmC is dispensable.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park 16802, USA.


Targeted mutagenesis was used to investigate the roles of the CsmA and CsmC proteins of the chlorosomes of the green bacteria Chlorobium tepidum and Chlorobium vibrioforme 8327. Under the photoautotrophic growth conditions employed, CsmA is required for the viability of the cells but CsmC is dispensable. The absence of CsmC caused a small red shift in the near-infrared absorption maximum of bacteriochlorophyll d in whole cells and chlorosomes, but chlorosomes were assembled in and could be isolated from the csmC mutant. The doubling time of the csmC mutant was approximately twice that of the wild-type strain. Fluorescence emission measurements suggested that energy transfer from the bulk bacteriochlorophyll d to another pigment, perhaps bacteriochlorophyll a, emitting at 800-804 nm, was less efficient in the csmC mutant cells than in wild-type cells. These studies establish that transformation and homologous recombination can be employed in targeted mutagenesis of Chlorobium sp. and further demonstrate that chlorosome proteins play important roles in the structure and function of these light-harvesting organelles.

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