, Volume 124, Issue 1, pp 21-31

A comparative study on the composition of chlorosomes (Chlorobium vesicles) and cytoplasmic membranes from Chloroflexus aurantiacus strain Ok-70-fl and Chlorobium limicola f. thiosulfatophilum strain 6230

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Abstract

Highly purified fractions of chlorosomes and cytoplasmic membranes were isolated from Chloroflexus aurantiacus Ok-70-fl and Chlorobium limicola 6230. These fractions were comparatively analyzed for their pigmentation, phospholipid, glycolipid, and cytochrome c content as well as for their specific activities of succinate dehydrogenase and NADH-oxidase. The data showed that there are some differences in pigmentation and phospholipid content between the isolated fractions of Chloroflexus and Chlorobium. Chlorosomes of Chloroflexus contained a specific BChl a-complex with a characteristic absorption maximum at about 790 nm. This BChl a-complex could not be detected in spectra of chlorosomes from Chlorobium. The near infrared region of the spectra of the isolated cytoplasmic membranes of both organisms revealed considerable differences: The BChl a-complexes of Chloroflexus membranes exhibited peaks at 806 and 868 nm whereas the membranes of Chlorobium had a single BChl a-peak at 710 nm. In contrast to the findings with Chlorobium the chlorosomes of Chloroflexus contained at least twice as much phospholipids as did the cytoplasmic membranes. In Chlorobium the phospholipid content of cytoplasmic membranes is three times that of their chlorosomes. The distribution of all other components (carotenoid composition, enzyme activities, cytochrome c content, and glycolipids) was about the same in both strains. From the data it was concluded that differences in the organization of the photosynthetic apparatus are mainly based on differences of the organization of the photosynthetic units in the cytoplasmic membrane and probably the kind of linkage of the light harvesting system in the chlorosomes with the reaction center in the cytoplasmic membranes.