Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 967–978 | Cite as

Identification of bidirectional hydrogenase genes and their co-transcription in unicellular halotolerant cyanobacterium Aphanothece halophytica

  • Saranya Phunpruch
  • Samart Taikhao
  • Aran IncharoensakdiEmail author


The halotolerant cyanobacterium Aphanothece halophytica has been shown to produce H2 via dark fermentation of accumulated glycogen under anoxic condition. One set of hox genes encoding a bidirectional hydrogenase is present in A. halophytica. In this study, the nucleotide sequence and the transcriptional analysis of hox genes in A. halophytica were investigated. The results revealed that A. halophytica contained five structural genes, hoxE, hoxF, hoxU, hoxY, and hoxH, without an insertion of other open reading frames (ORFs). The conserved cysteine motifs of iron-sulfur clusters involved in an electron transfer were found in all Hox subunits. The nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequences of hox genes in A. halophytica showed the highest identity and similarity to those of Halothece sp. PCC 7418. By reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis, hox genes in A. halophytica were co-transcribed as a single operon. Under nitrogen-deprived condition, the transcripts of hoxH, glgB, coxA, ndhB, and psaA were upregulated whereas those of glgP and narB were downregulated which resulted in an increase of H2 production, H2ase activity, glycogen content, and dark respiration rate.


Hydrogenase gene Co-transcription Cyanobacteria Aphanothece halophytica 



This study was financially supported by research grant from the Faculty of Science, King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang. A. Incharoensakdi thanks the Ratchadaphiseksomphot Endowment Fund of Chulalongkorn University, for the research grant under Frontier Research Energy Cluster.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Saranya Phunpruch
    • 1
    • 2
  • Samart Taikhao
    • 2
  • Aran Incharoensakdi
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Bioenergy Research Unit, Faculty of ScienceKing Mongkut’s Institute of Technology LadkrabangBangkokThailand
  2. 2.Department of Biology, Faculty of ScienceKing Mongkut’s Institute of Technology LadkrabangBangkokThailand
  3. 3.Laboratory of Cyanobacterial Biotechnology, Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of ScienceChulalongkorn UniversityBangkokThailand

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