Bacteriophytochromes Control Photosynthesis in Rhodopseudomonas palustris

  • Katie Evans
  • Toni Georgiou
  • Theresa Hillon
  • Anthony Fordham-Skelton
  • Miroslav Papiz
Part of the Advances in Photosynthesis and Respiration book series (AIPH, volume 28)


The ability to endure and adapt to a broad array of environmental conditions is a feature of photosynthesizing organisms. This is particularly true of changing light conditions as acclimatization to light is of importance for energy utilization and for the prevention of radiation damage. The available light energy is influenced by several factors such as day/night cycles, shade, water depths, and competition from other photosynthesizing organisms. A more subtle effect is the availability of light in different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum which can influence the chromophores chosen by the photosynthetic organism, and the ways in which these are organized within chromophore-protein complexes. Strategies are available for responding to the presence of solar energy and for optimizing photon capture. In most cases the strategies begin with the initiation of an altered pattern of gene expression arising from light sensing mechanisms that repress or activate the expression of genes required for photosynthesis. A further fine tuning of gene expression, to suit particular light conditions, can achieve additional improvements in efficient utilization of solar energy. This can be as simple as an increase in the quantity of pigmented complexes, in response to altered light intensity, or structural changes to photosynthetic complexes that ensure efficient adaptation to an altered distribution of photon energies. Phytochromes are an important class of macromolecules that sense fluctuating light intensity and spectral quality to alter gene expression. They have been shown to be of central importance in plant acclimatization and in recent years bacterial homologs have been found. A number of bacteriophytochromes have been discovered in the phototrophic non-sulfur purple bacterium Rhodopseudomonas (Rps.) palustris that are involved in the control of photosynthesis and which provide insights into how this organism adapts to light in its environment.


Histidine Kinase Rhodopseudomonas Palustris Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Nuclear Translocator Photoactive Yellow Protein Plant Phytochrome 
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.





Bradyrhizobium ORS278 bacteriophytochrome


biliverdin IXα


catalytic ATPase kinase domain


chromophore binding domain


cyanobacterial phytochrome




dimerization and histidine phosphotransfer domain




cGMP phosphodiesterases/adenylyl cyclases/bacterial transcription factor FhlA domain


light-harvesting complex


light-harvesting complex 2


light-harvesting complex 4


lux, luminous flux on a surface area (lumen/m2)


period protein (PER)/aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator protein (ARNT)/ single-minded protein (SIM) domains




far-red absorbing phytochrome

PHY domain

phytochrome domain


red absorbing phytochrome


photoactive yellow protein






reaction center — LH 1 core complex




response regulator


small angle X-ray scattering


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katie Evans
    • 1
  • Toni Georgiou
    • 1
  • Theresa Hillon
    • 1
  • Anthony Fordham-Skelton
    • 1
  • Miroslav Papiz
    • 1
  1. 1.Daresbury LaboratoryScience and Technology Facilities CouncilWarringtonUK

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