Is there a role for the 42 kilodalton polypeptide in inorganic carbon uptake by cyanobacteria?

R. Schwarz, Devorah Friedberg, Aaron Kaplan

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Cyanobacterial cells accumulate substantial amounts of a membrane-associated 42 kilodalton polypeptide during adaptation to low CO2 conditions. The role of this polypeptide in the process of adaptation and in particular in the large increase in the ability to accumulate inorganic carbon (Ci), which accompanies this process, is not yet understood. We have isolated a mutant Synechococcus PCC7942 that does not accumulate the 42 kilodalton polypeptide. The mutant requires a high-CO2 concentration for growth and exhibits a very low apparent photosynthetic affinity for extracellular Ci. The latter might be attributable to the observed defective ability of the mutant to utilize the intracellular Ci pool for photosynthesis. The 42 kilodalton polypeptide does not appear to participate directly in the active transport of Ci, since the difference between the observed capabilities for CO2 and HCO3− uptake of the mutant and the wild type is not sufficient to account for their different growth and photosynthetic performance. Furthermore, high CO2-grown wild-type cells, where we could not detect the 42 kilodalton polypeptide, transported CO2 faster than the mutant. An analysis of the curves relating the rate of accumulation of Ci to the concentration of CO2 or HCO3− supplied, in the presence or absence of carbonic anhydrase, indicated that under the experimental conditions used here, CO2 was the preferred Ci species taken up by Synechococcus.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)284-288
JournalPlant Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1988


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