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Cation-dependent changes in the thylakoid membrane appression of the diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana

Jäger, Stefanie, Büchel, Claudia
Biochimica et biophysica acta 2019 v.1860 no.1 pp. 41-51
Bacillariophyceae, Thalassiosira pseudonana, cations, circular dichroism spectroscopy, electrostatic interactions, fluorescence emission spectroscopy, grana, light harvesting complex, magnesium, photosystem II, salts, thylakoids
Diatoms show a special organisation of their plastid membranes, such that their thylakoids span the entire plastid in bands of three. While in higher plants the interaction of the light harvesting complex II and photosystem II with divalent cations (especially Mg2+) was found to take part in the interplay of electrostatic attraction and repulsion in grana membrane appression, for diatoms the key players in maintaining proper membrane distances were not identified so far. In this work, we investigated the changes in the thylakoid architecture of Thalassiosira pseudonana in reaction to different salts by using circular dichroism and fluorescence spectroscopy in combination with other techniques. We show that divalent cations have an important influence on optimal pigment organisation and thus also on maintaining membrane appression. Thereby, monovalent cations are far less effective. The concentration needed is in a physiological range and fits well with the values obtained for higher plant grana stacking, despite the fact that strict protein segregation as seen in higher plant grana is missing.