- Biosynthesis of fucoxanthin and diadinoxanthin and function of initial pathway genes in Phaeodactylum tricornutum (2012)
- The biosynthesis pathway to diadinoxanthin and fucoxanthin was elucidated in Phaeodactylum tricornutum by a combined approach involving metabolite analysis identification of gene function. For the initial steps leading to β-carotene, putative genes were selected from the genomic database and the function of several of them identified by genetic pathway complementation in Escherichia coli. They included genes encoding a phytoene synthase, a phytoene desaturase, a ζ-carotene desaturase, and a lycopene β-cyclase. Intermediates of the pathway beyond β-carotene, present in trace amounts, were separated by TLC and identified as violaxanthin and neoxanthin in the enriched fraction. Neoxanthin is a branching point for the synthesis of both diadinoxanthin and fucoxanthin and the mechanisms for their formation were proposed. A single isomerization of one of the allenic double bounds in neoxanthin yields diadinoxanhin. Two reactions, hydroxylation at C8 in combination with a keto-enol tautomerization and acetylation of the 3′-HO group results in the formation of fucoxanthin.
- Characterization of a trimeric light-harvesting complex in the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum built of FcpA and FcpE proteins (2010)
- Fucoxanthin chlorophyll proteins (Fcps), the light-harvesting antennas of heterokont algae, are encoded by a multigene family and are highly similar with respect to their molecular masses as well as to their pigmentation, making it difficult to purify single Fcps. In this study, a hexa-histidine tag was genetically added to the C-terminus of the FcpA protein of the pennate diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum. A transgenic strain expressing the recombinant His-tagged FcpA protein in addition to the endogenous wild type Fcps was created. This strategy allowed, for the first time, the purification of a specific, stable trimeric Fcp complex. In addition, a pool of various trimeric Fcps was also purified from the wild-type cells using sucrose density gradient ultracentrifugation and gel filtration. In both the His-tagged and the wild-type Fcps, excitation energy coupling between fucoxanthin and chlorophyll a was intact and the existence of a chlorophyll a/fucoxanthin excitonic dimer was demonstrated using circular dichroism spectroscopy. Mass spectrometric analyses of the trimeric His-tagged complex indicated that it is composed of FcpA and FcpE polypeptides. It is confirmed here that a trimer is the basic organizational unit of Fcps in P. tricornutum. From circular dichroism spectra, it is proposed that the organization of the pigments on the polypeptide backbone of Fcps is a conserved feature in the case of chlorophyll a/c containing algae.
- Properties of photosystem I antenna protein complexes of the diatom Cyclotella meneghiniana (2012)
- Analysis of photosystem I (PSI) complexes from Cyclotella meneghiniana cultured under different growth conditions led to the identification of three groups of antenna proteins, having molecular weights of around 19, 18, and 17 kDa. The 19-kDa proteins have earlier been demonstrated to be more peripherally bound to PSI, and their amount in the PSI complexes was significantly reduced when the iron supply in the growth medium was lowered. This polypeptide was almost missing, and thus the total amount of fucoxanthin-chlorophyll proteins (Fcps) bound to PSI was reduced as well. When treating cells with high light in addition, no further changes in antenna polypeptide composition were detected. Xanthophyll cycle pigments were found to be bound to all Fcps of PSI. However, PSI of high light cultures had a significantly higher diatoxanthin to diadinoxanthin ratio, which is assumed to protect against a surplus of excitation energy. PSI complexes from the double-stressed cultures (high light plus reduced iron supply) were slightly more sensitive against destruction by the detergent treatment. This could be seen as a higher 674-nm emission at 77 K in comparison to the PSI complexes isolated from other growth conditions. Two major emission bands of the Fcps bound to PSI at 77 K could be identified, whereby chlorophyll a fluorescing at 697 nm was more strongly coupled to the PSI core than those fluorescing at 685 nm. Thus, the build up of the PSI antenna of several Fcp components enables variable reactions to several stress factors commonly experienced by the diatoms in vivo, in particular diatoxanthin enrichment under high light and reduction of antenna size under reduced iron conditions.