Differentiation of the photosynthetic apparatus of Chloroflexus aurantiacus depending on growth with different amino acids
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The phototrophic green bacterium Chloroflexus aurantiacus was grown anaerobically in batch culture with different amino acids at 56°C and constant illumination of 25 klx. The composition of the photosynthetic apparatus was measured by quantitation of the bacteriochlorophylls (Bchl) a and c (representing the membrane-bound and the chlorosomal moieties, respectively). Ser added at concentrations up to 15 mM stimulated protein formation and Bchl a and c syntheses. A comparable stimulation was found with Glu and Ala. Coproporphyrin accumulation approached saturation at 5 mM of Ala, Asp, Orn, and Ser, while with Glu and Arg saturating concentrations were above 5 mM. Protein and tetrapyrrole syntheses became saturated at 2.5 to 5 mM of Asp, Ile, and Val. However, with Arg and Orn Bchl c synthesis was stimulated up to 2.5 mM, growth and Bchl a synthesis up to 5 mM. At higher Arg or Orn concentrations these activities were inhibited. Coproporphyrin accumulation was highest with Arg or Orn, at concentrations which inhibited growth and Bchl formation. Stimulation of Bchl synthesis took place preferentially at the level of Bchl c, while Bchl a was more sensitive toward inhibition. In both cases however, the ratio of Bchl c to Bchl a increased with higher amino acid concentrations. Nevertheless, each amino acid induced a typical effect. To understand different effects exerted by different amino acids, chemostat cultures were grown limited by either Ser or Glu. With Ser, steady state protein levels and specific Bchl a contents decreased slightly when increasing the dilution rate (D). Concomitantly Bchl c and coproporphyrin levels as well as the ratio of Bchl a/Bchl c increased. With Glu as the limiting substrate, all of the above mentioned parameters decreased. Since all of the Ser was consumed and increasing amounts of Glu remained unutilized in the spent medium, it is concluded that differences in the formation of the three pyrrole derivatives tested are due to differences in the affinities of uptake systems for Ser and Glu.
Key wordsChloroflexus aurantiacus Amino acid utilization Bacteriochlorophyll synthesis Photosynthetic apparatus Chemostat
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