The Cloning and Organisation of Genes for Bacteriochlorophyll and Carotenoid Biosynthesis in Rhodobacter Sphaeroides

  • Shirley A. Coomber
  • Maliha Chaudri
  • C. Neil Hunter
Part of the FEMS Symposium book series (FEMSS)


Photosynthetic bacteria such as Rhodobacter sphaeroides and Rb.capsulatus are capable of chemoheterotrophic growth in the dark, and under conditions where oxygen is not limiting can repress the synthesis of the photosynthetic apparatus almost completely. The removal of oxygen initiates the coordinated synthesis of the pigments, proteins and lipids of the photosynthetic membrane which grows as invaginations of the cytoplasmic membrane (Niederman et al., 1976; Chory et al., 1984). By the time this process is complete, light harvesting (LH) domains of several thousand bacteriochlorophyll (bchl) and carotenoid (crt) molecules have been assembled, consisting of LH2 units which surround and interconnect cores containing LH1 and the photochemical reaction centre (Hunter et al., 1985. Vos et al., 1988). Nevertheless, such cells still contain small amounts of non-pigmented cytoplasmic membrane (Parks and Niederman, 1978) and membrane regions enriched in newly synthesised pigment protein complexes. (Niederman et al., 1979)


Mutant Phenotype Rhodobacter Sphaeroides Carotenoid Biosynthesis Gene Photochemical Reaction Centre Rhodopseudomonas Sphaeroides 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Armstrong, G.A., Alberti, M., Leach, F. and Hearst, J.E., 1989, Nucleotide sequence, organisation, and nature of the protein products of the carotenoid biosynthesis gene cluster of Rhodobacter capsulatus, Mol.Gen.Genet., 216: 254–268.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ashby, M.K., Coomber, S.A. and Hunter, C.N., 1987, Cloning, nucleotide sequence and transfer of genes for the B800–850 light harvesting complex of Rhodobacter sphaeroides. FEBS Letters, 213: 245–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Berg, D.E., Schmandt, M.A. and Lowe, J.B., 1983, Specificity of transposon Tn5 insertion, Genetics, 105: 813–828.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Biel, A.J. and Marrs, B.L., 1983, Transcriptional regulation of several genes for bacteriochlorophyll biosynthesis in Rhodopseudomonas capsulate in response to oxygen, J.Bacteriol., 156: 686–694.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Chory, J., Donohue, T.J., Varga, A.R., Staehelin, L.A. and Kaplan, S., 1984, Induction of the photosynthetic membranes of Rhodospeudomonas sphaeroides: biochemical and morphological studies, J.Bacteriol, 159: 540–554.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Coomber, S.A., Ashby, M.K. and Hunter, C.N., 1987, Cloning and oxygen regulated expression of genes for the bacteriochlorophyll biosynthetic pathway in Rhodopseudomonas sphaeroides, in: “Progress in Photosynthesis Research”, vol.4, pp. 737–740. J. Biggins, ed., Martinus Nijhoff, Dordrecht:Google Scholar
  7. Coomber, S.A. and Hunter, C.N., 1989, Construction of a physical map of the 45kb photosynthetic gene cluster of Rhodobacter sphaeroides, Arch. Microbiol., 151: 454–458.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Donohue, T.J., McEwan, A.G. and Kaplan, S., 1986, Cloning and expression of the Rhodobacter sphaeroides reaction centre H gene, J. Bacteriol., 168: 962–972.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Giuliano, G., Pollock, D. and Scolnik, P.A., 1986, The crt I gene mediates the conversion of phytoene into coloured carotenoids in Rhodopseudomonas capsulata, J.Biol.Chem., 261: 12925–12929.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Giuliano, G., Pollock, D., Stapp, H. and Scolnik, P.A., 1988, A genetic-physical map of the Rhodobacter capsulatus carotenoid biosynthesis gene cluster, Mol. Gen. Genet., 213: 78–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hunter, C.N., Kramer, H.J.M and van Grondelle, R., 1985, Linear dichroism and fluorescence emission of antenna complexes during photosynthetic unit assembly in Rhodopseudomonas sphaeroides, Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 807: 4451.Google Scholar
  12. Hunter, C.N., 1988, Transposon Tn5 mutagenesis of genes encoding reaction centre and light-harvesting LH1 polypeptides of Rhodobacter sphaeroides, J. Gen. Microbiol., 134: 1481–1489.Google Scholar
  13. Hunter, C.N. and Coomber, S.A., 1988, Cloning and oxygen-regulated expression of the bacteriochlorophyll biosynthesis genes bch E, B, A, and C of Rhodobacter sphaeroides. J.Gen. Microbiol., 134: 1491–1497.Google Scholar
  14. Hunter, C.N. and Turner, G., 1988, Transfer of genes coding for apoproteins of reaction centre and light harvesting LH1 complexes to Rhodobacter sphaeroides. J. Gen. Microbiol., 134: 1471–1480.Google Scholar
  15. Kiley, P.J, and Kaplan, S., 1987, Cloning, DNA sequence and expression of the Rhodobacter sphaeroides light harvesting B800–850 a and B800–850 ß genes, J.Bacteriol., 169: 742–750.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Kiley, P.J., Donohue, T.J., Havelka, W.A. and Kaplan, S., 1987, DNA sequence and in vitro expression of the B875 light harvesting polypeptides of Rhodobacter sphaeroides, J. Bacteriol., 169: 742–750.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Marrs, B., 1981, Mobilization of the genes for photosynthesis from Rhodopseudomonas capsulata by a promiscuous plasmid, J.Bacteriol., 146: 1003–1012.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Niederman, R.A., Mallon, D.E. and Langan, J.J., 1976, Membranes of Rhodopseudomonas sphaeroides. IV. Assembly of chromatophores in low-aeration cell suspensions, Biochim. Biophys. Acta., 440: 429–447.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Niederman, R.A., Mallon, D.E. and Parks, L.C., 1979, Membranes of Rhodopseudomonas sphaeroides VI. Isolation of a fraction enriched in newly synthesised bacteriochlorophyll a-protein Complexes, Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 555: 210–220.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Noti, J.D., Jadadish, M.N. and Szalay, A.A., 1987, Site directed Tn5 and transplacement mutagenesis: methods to identify symbiotic nitrogen fixation genes in slow-growing Rhizobium, Methods in Enzymology, 154: 197–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Parks, L.C. and Niederman, R.A., 1978, Membranes of Rhodopseudomonas sphaeroides. V. Identification of bacteriochlorophyll a–depleted cytoplasmic membrane in phototrophically grown cells, Biochim. Biophys. Acta., 511: 70–82.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Pemberton, J.M., Harding, C.M., 1986, Cloning of carotenoid biosynthesis genes from Rhodopseudomonas sphaeroides, Curr. Microbiol., 14: 25–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Scolnik, P.A., Walker, M.A. and Marrs, B.L., 1980, Biosynthesis of carotenoids derived from neurosporene in Rhodopseudomonas capsulata, J.Biol. Chem., 225: 2427–2432.Google Scholar
  24. Simon, R., Priefer, U. and Puhler, A., 1983, A broad host range mobilization system for in vivo genetic engineering: transposon mutagenesis in Gram negative bacteria, Biotechnology, 1: 784–791.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Sistrom, W.R., Macalusa, A. and Pledger, R., 1984, Mutants of Rhodopseudomonas sphaeroides useful in genetic analysis, Arch Microbiol., 138: 161–165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Taylor, D.P., Cohen, S.N., Clark, W.G. and Marrs, B.L., 1983, Alignment of genetic and restriction maps of the photosynthesis region of the Rhodopseudomonas capsulata chromosome by a conjugation-mediated marker rescue technique, J. Bacteriol.. 154: 580–590.Google Scholar
  27. Vos, M., van Dorssen, R.J., Amesz, J., van Grondelle, R. and Hunter, C.N., 1988, The organisation of the photosynthetic apparatus of Rhodobacter sphaeroides: studies of antenna mutants using singlet-singlet quenching, Biochim. Biophys. Acta., 933: 132–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Williams, J.C., Steiner, L.A., Ogden, R.C., Simon, M.I. and Feher, G., 1983, Primary structure of the M subunit of the reaction center from Rhodopseudomonas sphaeroides, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 80: 6505–6509.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Williams, J.C., Steiner, L.A., Feher, G. and Simon, M.I., 1984, Primary structure of the L subunit of the reaction center of Rhodopseudomonas sphaeroides, Proc. Natl. acad. Sci. USA, 81: 7303–7308.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Williams, J.C., Steiner, L.A. and Feher, G., 1986, Primary structure of the reaction centre from Rhodopseudomonas sphaeroides, PROTEINS: Structure. Function Gen., 1: 312–325.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Yen, H.C. and Marrs, B., 1976, Map of the genes of carotenoid and bacteriochlorophyll biosynthesis in Rhodopseudomonas capsulata, J. Bacteriol., 126: 619–629.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Youvan, D.C., Hearst, J.E. and Marrs, B.L., 1983, Isolation and characterisation of enhanced fluorescence mutants of Rhodopseudomonas capsulate, J. Bacteriol., 154: 748–755.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Youvan, D.C., Bylina, E.J., Alberti, M.H., Begusch, H. and Hearst, J.E., 1984, Nucleotide and deduced polypeptide sequences of the photosynthetic reaction-center, B870 antenna, and flanking polypeptides from R.capsulata, Cell, 37: 949–957.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Zsebo, K.M. and Hearst, J.E., 1984, Genetic-physical mapping of a photosynthetic gene cluster from R.capsulata, Cell, 37: 937–947.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shirley A. Coomber
    • 1
  • Maliha Chaudri
    • 1
  • C. Neil Hunter
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Molecular Biology and BiotechnologyUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK

Personalised recommendations