Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 109, Issue 1–3, pp 85–101 | Cite as

Physiological characterization and light response of the CO2-concentrating mechanism in the filamentous cyanobacterium Leptolyngbya sp. CPCC 696

  • Elvin D. de Araujo
  • Jason Patel
  • Charlotte de Araujo
  • Susan P. Rogers
  • Steven M. Short
  • Douglas A. Campbell
  • George S. EspieEmail author
Regular Paper


We studied the interactions of the CO2-concentrating mechanism and variable light in the filamentous cyanobacterium Leptolyngbya sp. CPCC 696 acclimated to low light (15 μmol m−2 s−1 PPFD) and low inorganic carbon (50 μM Ci). Mass spectrometric and polarographic analysis revealed that mediated CO2 uptake along with both active Na+-independent and Na+-dependent HCO3 transport, likely through Na+/HCO3 symport, were employed to concentrate Ci internally. Combined transport of CO2 and HCO3 required about 30 kJ mol−1 of energy from photosynthetic electron transport to support an intracellular Ci accumulation 550-fold greater than the external Ci. Initially, Leptolyngbya rapidly induced oxygen evolution and Ci transport to reach 40–50% of maximum values by 50 μmol m−2 s−1 PPFD. Thereafter, photosynthesis and Ci transport increased gradually to saturation around 1,800 μmol m−2 s−1 PPFD. Leptolyngbya showed a low intrinsic susceptibility to photoinhibition of oxygen evolution up to PPFD of 3,000 μmol m−2 s−1. Intracellular Ci accumulation showed a lag under low light but then peaked at about 500 μmol photons m−2 s−1 and remained high thereafter. Ci influx was accompanied by a simultaneous, light-dependent, outward flux of CO2 and by internal CO2/HCO3 cycling. The high-affinity and high-capacity CCM of Leptolyngbya responded dynamically to fluctuating PPFD and used excitation energy in excess of the needs of CO2 fixation by increasing Ci transport, accumulation and Ci cycling. This capacity may allow Leptolyngbya to tolerate periodic exposure to excess high light by consuming electron equivalents and keeping PSII open.


Ci pump/leak cycle CO2-concentrating mechanism CO2 uptake Cyanobacteria Leptolyngbya Na+-dependent HCO3 transport Light response Photoprotection Photosynthesis 



This work is supported through Discovery grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Councils of Canada (NSERC) to Steven M. Short, Douglas A. Campbell and George S. Espie. Elvin D. de Araujo is the recipient of an NSERC-USRA grant and Charlotte de Araujo is the recipient of a NSERC—Canada Graduate Scholarship.

Supplementary material

11120_2011_9663_MOESM1_ESM.eps (34.6 mb)
Fig. S1 Composite plot of the effect of PPFD (0–2,000 μmol photons m−2 s−1) on measured parameters, each normalized to their individual maximum value. Data points for Ci pool (+) and CO2 efflux/influx (filled circle) are joined point to point by solid black lines. Data for Ci transport rate and PSII closure (1 − q L ) were fit to a rectangular hyperbola and the fitted curve has been plotted as a solid blue line or as dashed red line, respectively. Steady-state photosynthetic O2 evolution rate is shown by grey, closed circles alone. KREC (solid star) and σi (╬) are connected by dots. Vertical green line indicates the growth acclimation PPFD, 20 μmol photons m−2 s−1. Green bar (1, 2–100), yellow bar (2, 100–1,200) and red bar(3, 1,200–3,000) indicate the three PPFD ranges discussed in the text.(EPS 35400 kb)
11120_2011_9663_MOESM2_ESM.eps (9.5 mb)
Fig. S2 Photosystem II function (% initial F V/F M) in response to cumulative photon dose in cells in which PSII repair was blocked by treatment with lincomycin. Photon dose was provided by exposing cells to 450 μmol photons m−2 s−1 blue light (filled triangle), 690 μmol photons m−2 s−1 blue light (filled square) or 1,740 μmol photons m−2 s−1 white light (filled circle) for time intervals up to 90 min. (EPS 9678 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elvin D. de Araujo
    • 1
  • Jason Patel
    • 1
  • Charlotte de Araujo
    • 2
  • Susan P. Rogers
    • 3
  • Steven M. Short
    • 1
    • 4
  • Douglas A. Campbell
    • 3
  • George S. Espie
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of TorontoMississaugaCanada
  2. 2.Department of Cell and Systems BiologyUniversity of TorontoMississaugaCanada
  3. 3.Department of BiologyMount Allison UniversitySackvilleCanada
  4. 4.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of TorontoMississaugaCanada

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