, Volume 153, Issue 6, pp 550-560

Structural and compositional analyses of the phycobilisomes of Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002. Analyses of the wild-type strain and a phycocyanin-less mutant constructed by interposon mutagenesis

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The phycobilisomes and phycobiliproteins of Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002 wild-type strain PR6000 have been isolated and characterized. The hemidiscoidal phycobilisomes of strain PR6000 are composed of eleven different polypeptides: phycocyanin α and β subunits; allophycocyanin α and β subunits; α subunit of allophycocyanin B; the allophycocyanin β-subunit-like polypeptide of Mr 18 000; the linker phycobiliprotein of Mr 99 000; and non-chromophore-carrying linker polypeptides of Mr 33 000, 29 000, 9000, and 8000. Several of these polypeptides were purified to homogeneity and their amino acid compositions and amino-terminal amino acid sequences were determined. Analyses of the phycobiliproteins of Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002 were greatly facilitated by comparative studies performed with a mutant strain, PR6008, constructed to be devoid of the phycocyanin α and β subunits by recombinant DNA techniques and transformation of strain PR6000. The absence of phycocyanin did not greatly affect the allophycocyanin content of the mutant strain but caused the doubling time to increase 2–7-fold depending upon the light intensity at which the cells were grown. Although intact phycobilisome cores could not be isolated from this mutant, it is probable that functionally intact cores do exist in vivo.