Organization of the Rhodobacter Capsulatus Carotenoid Biosynthesis Gene Cluster

  • Gregory A. Armstrong
  • Marie Alberti
  • Francesca Leach
  • John E. Hearst
Part of the FEMS Symposium book series (FEMSS)

Abstract

Carotenoids are a major class of pigment molecules found in all photosynthetic organisms, and some nonphotosynthetic bacteria, fungi and yeasts (reviewed in Goodwin, 1980). In photosynthetic organisms carotenoids are not only essential physical quenchers of excited state triplet chlorophyll and bacteriochlorophyll (Bchl) and of singlet oxygen generated by these species, but also serve as accessory light-harvesting pigments (reviewed in Cogdell and Frank, 1987). The isolation of the R-prime plasmid pRPS404, containing a 46 kb region from the Rhodobacter capsulatus chromosome which complemented all known point mutation defects in photosynthesis, suggested that the genes encoding structural photosynthetic polypeptides and the enzymes of carotenoid and bacteriochlorophyll biosynthesis were clustered (Mans, 1981). The genes encoding the reaction center and light-harvesting I polypeptides, flanking the pigment biosynthesis genes, were subsequently located and sequenced (Youvan et al., 1984a), as were the unlinked genes encoding the light-harvesting II antenna polypeptides (Youvan and Ismail, 1985). No DNA sequences were previously available for the genes encoding carotenoid biosynthetic enzymes from any carotenogenic organism. Thus, the determination of the nucleotide sequence and the organization of the crt genes from R. capsulatus is essential both to further studies of the gene products and of gene regulation. We have focused our attention on the characterization of the subcluster of crt genes within the photosynthesis gene cluster (for a description of the carotenoid biosynthesis pathway see Armstrong et al., 1989). Seven of the eight previously identified R. capsulatus crt genes were known to be clustered on the BamHI-H, -G, -M, and -J fragments of pRPS404 in the order crtA, I, B, C, D, E, F from left to right on the genetic-physical map (Fig. 1) (Taylor et al., 1983; Zsebo and Hearst, 1984; Giuliano et al., 1988). These studies established that mutations causing Bchl-phenotypes map within these four BamHI fragments, flanking both ends of the crt gene cluster. We have determined the nucleotide sequence of an 11039 bp region encompassing the BamHI-H, -G, - M, and -J fragments of pRPS404 (Armstrong et al., 1989). The nucleotide sequence reveals the presence of a new gene, crtK, not described in previous studies. We present here a comprehensive analysis of the DNA sequence and the gene organization, and discuss nucleotide sequences potentially involved in the initiation, regulation and termination of transcription within this region.

Keywords

Ribosome Binding Site Carotenoid Biosynthesis Photosynthesis Gene Carotenoid Biosynthesis Pathway Deduce Polypeptide Sequence 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gregory A. Armstrong
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marie Alberti
    • 2
  • Francesca Leach
    • 2
  • John E. Hearst
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.Division of Chemical BiodynamicsLawrence Berkeley LaboratoryBerkeleyUSA

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