Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 53, Issue 2–3, pp 173–184 | Cite as

Dna insertional mutagenesis for the elucidation of a Photosystem II repair process in the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

  • Liping Zhang
  • Krishna K. Niyogi
  • Irene Baroli
  • Jeff A. Nemson
  • Arthur R. Grossman
  • Anastasios Melis


The work outlines the isolation of transformant Chlamydomonas reinhardtii cells that appear to be unable to repair Photosystem II from photoinhibitory damage. A physiological and biochemical characterization of three mutants is presented. The results show differential stability for the D1 reaction center protein in the three mutants compared to the wild type and suggest lesions that affect different aspects of the Photosystem II repair mechanism. In the ag16.2 mutant, significantly greater amounts of D1 accumulate in the thylakoid membrane than in the wild type under steady-state growth conditions, and D1 loss is significantly retarded in the presence of the protein biosynthesis inhibitor chloramphenicol. Moreover, aberrant electrophoretic mobility of D1 in the ag16.2 suggests that this protein is modified to an as yet unknown configuration. These results indicate that the biosynthesis and/or degradation of D1 is altered in this strain. A different type of mutation occurred in the kn66.7 and kn27.4 mutants of C. reinhardtii. The stability of D1 declined much faster as a function of light intensity in these mutants than in the wild type. Thereby, the threshold of photoinhibition in these mutants was significantly lower than that in the wild type. It appears that kn66.7 and kn27.4 are similar conditional mutants, with the only difference between them being the amplitude of the chloroplast response to the mutation and the differential sensitivity they display to the level of irradiance.

Chlamydomonas reinhardtii mutagenesis photoinhibition Photosystem II repair cycle transformation 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Liping Zhang
    • 1
  • Krishna K. Niyogi
    • 2
  • Irene Baroli
    • 1
  • Jeff A. Nemson
    • 1
  • Arthur R. Grossman
    • 2
  • Anastasios Melis
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plant BiologyUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.Department of Plant BiologyCarnegie Institution of WashingtonStanfordUSA

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