Initial Characterization of the Photosynthetic Apparatus of “ Candidatus Chlorothrix halophila,” a Filamentous, Anoxygenic Photoautotroph

van de Meene et al. (2007). Journal of Bacteriology 189 (11)
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Microbiology Molecular Biology
ABSTRACT “ Candidatus Chlorothrix halophila” is a recently described halophilic, filamentous, anoxygenic photoautotroph (J. A. Klappenbach and B. K. Pierson, Arch. Microbiol. 181: 17-25, 2004) that was enriched from the hypersaline microbial mats at Guerrero Negro, Mexico. Analysis of the photosynthetic apparatus by negative staining, spectroscopy, and sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis indicated that the photosynthetic apparatus in this organism has similarities to the photosynthetic apparatus in both the Chloroflexi and Chlorobi phyla of green photosynthetic bacteria. The chlorosomes were found to be ellipsoidal and of various sizes, characteristics that are comparable to characteristics of chlorosomes in other species of green photosynthetic bacteria. The absorption spectrum of whole cells was dominated by the chlorosome bacteriochlorophyll c (BChl c ) peak at 759 nm, with fluorescence emission at 760 nm. A second fluorescence emission band was observed at 870 nm and was tentatively attributed to a membrane-bound antenna complex. Fluorescence emission spectra obtained at 77 K revealed another complex that fluoresced at 820 nm, which probably resulted from the chlorosome baseplate complex. All of these results suggest that BChl c is present in the chlorosomes of “ Ca . Chlorothrix halophila,” that BChl a is present in the baseplate, and that there is a membrane-bound antenna complex. Analysis of the proteins in the chlorosomes revealed an ∼6-kDa band, which was found to be related to the BChl c binding protein CsmA found in other green bacteria. Overall, the absorbance and fluorescence spectra of “ Ca . Chlorothrix halophila” revealed an interesting mixture of photosynthetic characteristics that seemed to have properties similar to properties of both phyla of green bacteria when they were compared to the photosynthetic characteristics of Chlorobium tepidum and Chloroflexus aurantiacus .
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