Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp 149–162 | Cite as

Plastoquinone as a common link between photosynthesis and respiration in a blue-green alga

  • Masahiko Hirano
  • Kazuhiko Satoh
  • Sakae Katoh


The role of plastoquinone in a thermophilic blue-green alga, Shynechococcus sp., was studied by measuring reduction kinetics of cytochrome 553 which was oxidized with red flash preferentially exciting photosystem I. Sensitivity of the cytochrome reduction to DBMIB1 indicates that cytochrome 553 accepts electrons from reduced plastoquinone. Plastoquinone is in turn reduced in cells without electrons from photosystem II, since DCMU2, which inhibited methyl viologen photoreduction more strongly than DBMIB, failed to affect the cytochrome reduction. Participation of cyclic electron transport around photosystem I in cytochrome reduction in the presence of DCMU was excluded, because methyl viologen and antimycin A had no effect on the cytochrome kinetics. On the other hand, electron donation from endogenous substrates to plastoquinone was suggested from decreases in rate of the cytochrome reduction by dark starvation of cells and also from restoration of fast reduction kinetics by the addition of exogenous substrates to or by reillumination of starved cells.

KCN, which completely suppressed respiratory O2-uptake, induced a marked acceleration of the cytochrome reduction in starved cells. The poison was less or not effective in stimulating the cytochrome reduction in more extensively starved or reilluminated cells.

Results indicate that plastoquinone is functioning not only in the photosynthetic but also in the respiratory electron transport chain, thereby forming a common link between the two energy conservation systems of the blue-green alga.

  1. 1.

    Abbreviations: DCMU = 3-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-1,1-dimethylurea; DBMIB = 2,5-dib romo-3-methyl-6-isopropyl-p-benzoquinone; HOQNO = 2-n-heptyl-4-hydroxyquinoline-N-oxide

  2. 2.

    Abbreviations: DCMU = 3-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-1,1-dimethylurea; DBMIB = 2,5-dib romo-3-methyl-6-isopropyl-p-benzoquinone; HOQNO = 2-n-heptyl-4-hydroxyquinoline-N-oxide

Key words

blue-green algae cytochrome 553 electron transport photosynthesis plastoquinone respiration 


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Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff/Dr. W. Junk Publishers bv 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masahiko Hirano
    • 1
  • Kazuhiko Satoh
    • 1
  • Sakae Katoh
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pure and Applied Sciences, College of General EducationUniversity of TokyoTokyoJapan

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