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The Antarctic psychrophile, Chlamydomonas subcaudata, is deficient in state I–state II transitions

Morgan-Kiss, Rachael M., Ivanov, Alexander G., Huner, Norman P.
Planta 2002 v.214 no.3 pp. 435-445
Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, anaerobic conditions, chlorophyll, cytochrome b, cytochrome f, electron transfer, electron transport chain, fluorescence, magnesium, photosystem I, photosystem II, polypeptides, red light, Antarctic region
State I–State II transitions were monitored in vivo and in vitro in the Antarctic, psychrophillic, green alga, Chlamydomonas subcaudata, as changes in the low-temperature (77 K) chlorophyll fluorescence emission maxima at 722 nm (F₇₂₂) relative to 699 nm (F₆₉₉). As expected, the control mesophillic species, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, was able to modulate the light energy distribution between photosystem II and photosystem I in response to exposure to four different conditions: (i) dark/anaerobic conditions, (ii) a change in Mg²⁺concentration, (iii) red light, and (iv) increased incubation temperature. This was correlated with the ability to phosphorylate both of its major light-harvesting polypeptides. In contrast, exposure of C. subcaudata to the same four conditions induced minimum alterations in the 77 K fluorescence emission spectra, which was correlated with the ability to phosphorylate only one of its major light-harvesting polypeptides. Thus, C. subcaudata appears to be deficient in the ability to undergo a State I–State II transition. Functionally, this is associated with alterations in the apparent redox status of the intersystem electron transport chain and with higher rates of photosystem I cyclic electron transport in the psychrophile than in the mesophile, based on in vivo P₇₀₀ measurements. Structurally, this deficiency is associated with reduced levels of Psa A/B relative to D1, the absence of specific photosystem I light-harvesting polypeptides [R.M. Morgan et al. (1998) Photosynth Res 56:303–314] and a cytochrome b₆/f complex that exhibits a form of cytochrome f that is approximately 7 kDa smaller than that observed in C. reinhardtii. We conclude that the Antarctic psychrophile, C. subcaudata, is an example of a natural variant deficient in State I–State II transitions.