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Interaction of respiratory and photosynthetic electron transport in Anabaena variabilis Kütz.

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Prelabeled Anabaena variabilis Kütz. evolves 14CO2 in the light with KCN and DCMU (2,4-dichlorophenyl-1,1-dimethylurea) present, comparable to the dark control without inhibitors added. Double-reciprocal plots of CO2 release vs. light intensity with either KCN or KCN+DCMU present result in two straight lines intersecting at the ordinate. Apparently, reducing equivalents originating from carbohydrate catabolism are channeled into the photosynthetic electron-transport chain, competing for electrons from photosystem II. Under these conditions, the CO2 release is accompanied by a light-dependent oxygen uptake, presumably due to oxygen-reducing photosystem-I activity while ribulose-bisphosphate carboxylase is inhibited by KCN.

Comparing nine blue-green algae it was shown that only nitrogen-fixing species release substantial amounts of CO2 in the light with KCN or KCN+DCMU present. This release is particularly obvious with Anabaena variabilis Kütz. under nitrogen-fixing conditions, but small when the alga is grown with combined nitrogen.

We conclude that nitrogen-fixing species share a common link between respiratory and photosynthetic electron transport. The physiological role may be electron supply of nitrogenase by photosystem I.

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Correspondence to Peter Böger.

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Scherer, S., Stürzl, E. & Böger, P. Interaction of respiratory and photosynthetic electron transport in Anabaena variabilis Kütz.. Arch. Microbiol. 132, 333–337 (1982). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00413385

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Key words

  • Anabaena variabilis Kütz
  • 14C-prelabeled blue-green algae
  • Interaction respiration/photosynthesis
  • CO2 exchange
  • Nitrogen fixation