Pigment Synthesis and Xanthophyll Cycle in Diatoms Under High Light Stress and During Low Light Recovery

  • Martin Lohr
  • Christian Wilhelm


In chl a/c-containing microalgae the xanthophylls usually are of higher importance for harvesting light energy than in chi a/b-containing phytoplankton. Especially in algae containing fucoxanthin (e.g. diatoms, haptophytes) or peridinin (most of the dinophytes) these pigments effectively absorb the green light, which typically prevails in underwater light fields. Besides the light harvesting carotenoids most of these algae contain a set of readily interconvertible xanthophylls that are involved in high light protection, the so called xanthophyll cycle pigments. While in some algal groups the violaxanthin cycle (well known from higher plants and green algae) can be found, diatoms utilize a cycle between diadinoxanthin and diatoxanthin instead. In high light (HL) diadinoxanthin is deepoxidized to diatoxanthin. In low light (LL) the reaction is reverted.

Key words

antennae biosynthesis carotenoids light regulation microalgae regulatory processes 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Lohr
    • 1
  • Christian Wilhelm
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für BotanikUniversität LeipzigLeipzigGermany

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