Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 155, Issue 3, pp 229–233

Light-dependent switch from formation of poly-cis carotenes to all-trans carotenoids in the Scenedesmus mutant C-6D

  • Gerhard Sandmann
Original Papers

DOI: 10.1007/BF00252205

Cite this article as:
Sandmann, G. Arch. Microbiol. (1991) 155: 229. doi:10.1007/BF00252205


The Scenedesmus obliquus mutant C-6D forms untypical poly-cis carotenes and lacks cyclic carotenoids when grown heterotrophically in the dark. After transfer to light, a very fast formation of usual all-trans carotenoids is observed leading to a phenotype very similar to the wild-type. Carotene analysis and quantitative kinetics of carotenoid changes after illumination in the presence of inhibitors which inhibit the three enzymes involved in carotene conversion showed isomerization of poly-cis carotenes, especially pro-ξ-carotene, to all-trans isomers. This result and consequently photoisomerization of pro-ξ-carotene in solution demonstrated that photoisomerization is the light-dependent mechanism leading to all-trans carotenoids in illuminated cultures. Now the different phenotypes of Scenedesmus C-6D can be explained by a single mutation of phytoene desaturase when photoisomerization of poly-cis carotenes is considered.

Key words

Acyclic poly-cis carotenes Carotene biosynthesis Light-dependent xanthophyll formation Photoisomerization Pigment mutant C-6D of Scenedesmus obliquus 

Non-common abbreviations


2-(4-chlorophenylthio)-triethylamine HCL

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerhard Sandmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Lehrstuhl für Physiologie und Biochemie der PflanzenUniversität KonstanzKonstanzFederal Republic of Germany