Respiration and Respiratory Complexes

  • Davide Zannoni
  • Barbara Schoepp-Cothenet
  • Jonathan Hosler
Part of the Advances in Photosynthesis and Respiration book series (AIPH, volume 28)


Respiration in facultative phototrophs is a flexible metabolic process that involves various electron donors and acceptors. A good example of such respiratory flexibility can be found in Rhodobacter species, most of them being equipped with genes that encode five distinct oxidases having different oxygen affinities. One of these, the cytochrome cbb 3 oxidase is prevalent at low oxygen tensions, and terminates a highly coupled electron transfer pathway which is formed by a ‘core’ of redox components, e.g., quinones, the cytochrome bc 1 complex and cytochrome c, in common with the photosynthetic apparatus. Thus, by modulating expression of different terminal oxido-reductases that lock onto a core electron transfer pathway, Rhodobacter species can survive in a range of oxic, micro-oxic, and anoxic environments either in the dark or in the light.

This chapter covers first the types and basic characteristics of the terminal oxidases in a few Rhodobacter species; then, respiratory substrates other than oxygen are examined. These substrates include orthodox anaerobic electron acceptors such as DMSO or TMAO but also arsenics as unconventional bioenergetics substrates. Finally, a synopsis of the data examining the functional interactions between photosynthetic and respiratory ETP is given along with a phylogenetic scenario suggesting that respiration is more ancient than both anoxygenic and oxygenic photosynthesis.


Rhodobacter Sphaeroides Terminal Oxidase Arsenate Reductase Arsenite Oxidase DMSO Reductase 
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.





cytochrome c oxidase








high-potential iron-sulfur protein




photochemical reaction center
















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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Davide Zannoni
    • 1
  • Barbara Schoepp-Cothenet
    • 2
  • Jonathan Hosler
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Bioénergétique et Ingénierie des ProtéinesInstitut de Biologie Structurale et Microbiologie (IFR)Marseille Cedex 20France
  3. 3.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of Mississippi Medical CenterJacksonUSA

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