Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 129, Issue 3, pp 190–198 | Cite as

Characterization of the biliproteins of Gloeobacter violaceus chromophore content of a cyanobacterial phycoerythrin carrying phycourobilin chromophore

  • Donald A. Bryant
  • Germaine Cohen-Bazire
  • Alexander N. Glazer


The biliproteins of the unicellular, thylakoid-less cyanobacterium Gleobacter violaceus were resolved by chromatography on hydroxylapatite and DEAE-cellulose into five components: phycoerythrin I and II, phycocyanin I and II, and allophycocyanin. Allophycocyanin B was not detected. Three of these components, phycoerythrin II, phycocyanin II, and allophycocyanin, were purified to homogeneity. Phycoerythrin II crystallized as hexagonal prisms. G. violaceus allophycocyanin crystallized as thin plates; unter similar conditions other cyanobacterial allophycocyanins crystallize as needles. The biliproteins in the phycoerythrin I and phycocyanin I components were present in polydisperse, high molecular weight aggregates, which may represent incompletely dissociated substructures of the phycobilisome.

Both phycoerythrin components from G. violaceus carry phycoerythrobilin and phycourbilin groups in the ratio of 6:1. Separation of the α and β subunits of these biliproteins revealed that the phycoerythrobilins were equally distributed between the two subunits, and that the β subunit alone carried the phycourobilin. These phycoerythrins are the first cyanobacterial phycobiliproteins found to carry a phycourobilin prosthetic group.

Key words

Gloeobacter violaceus Cyanobacterium Blliproteins Phycoerythrin Phycourobilin Phycobilisomes 

Abbreviations used








sodium dodecyl sulfate


polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis








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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald A. Bryant
    • 1
  • Germaine Cohen-Bazire
    • 1
  • Alexander N. Glazer
    • 2
  1. 1.Unité de Physiologie Microbienne, Départment de Biochimie et Génétique Moléculaire, C. N. R. S.-E. R. A. 398Institut PasteurParisFrance
  2. 2.Department of Microbiology and ImmunologyUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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