, Volume 56, Issue 1, pp 217–228 | Cite as

The multiplicity of roles for (bi)carbonate in photosystem II operation in the hypercarbonate-requiring cyanobacterium Arthrospira maxima

  • G. Ananyev
  • C. Gates
  • G. C. Dismukes


Arthrospira maxima is unique among cyanobacteria, growing at alkaline pH (<11) in concentrated (bi)carbonate (1.2 M saturated) and lacking carbonic anhydrases. We investigated dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) roles within PSII of A. maxima cells oximetrically and fluorometrically, monitoring the light reactions on the donor and acceptor sides of PSII. We developed new methods for removing DIC based on a (bi)carbonate chelator and magnesium for (bi)carbonate ionpairing. We established relative affinities of three sites: the water-oxidizing complex (WOC), non-heme iron/QA, and solvent-accessible arginines throughout PSII. Full reversibility is achieved but (bi)carbonate uptake requires light. DIC depletion at the non-heme iron site and solvent-accessible arginines greatly reduces the yield of O2 due to O2 uptake, but accelerates the PSII–WOC cycle, specifically the S2→S3 and S3→S0 transitions. DIC removal from the WOC site abolishes water oxidation and appears to influence free energy stabilization of the WOC from a site between CP43-R357 and Ca2+.

Additional key words

bicarbonate depletion dissolved inorganic carbon oxygen-evolving complex redox tuning water-oxidizing complex 





double hit




backward transition


dissolved inorganic carbon






minimal fluorescence yield of the dark-adapted state


maximal fluorescence yield of the dark-adapted state


fast repetition rate fluorometry


variable fluorescence


maximal quantum yield of PSII photochemistry


photosynthetic electron transport




oxidation states of the WOC, “S-states”

VZAD (model)

Vinyard-Zachary-Ananyev-Dismukes model


water oxidizing complex


steady-state yield


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Supplementary material

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11099_2018_781_MOESM5_ESM.pdf (162 kb)
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11099_2018_781_MOESM6_ESM.pdf (155 kb)
Supplementary material, approximately 155 KB.


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Copyright information

© The Institute of Experimental Botany 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Waksman Institute of MicrobiologyRutgers UniversityPiscatawayUSA
  2. 2.Department of Chemistry and Chemical BiologyRutgers UniversityPiscatawayUSA

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