We have previously created and expressed a chimeric polypeptide joining the PsaC subunit of Photosystem I (PSI) to the HydA2 hydrogenase of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and demonstrated that it assembles into the PSI complex and feeds electrons directly to the hydrogenase domain, allowing for prolonged photobiological hydrogen production. Here we describe a new PSI-hydrogenase chimera using HydA1, the more abundant and physiologically active endogenous hydrogenase of this alga. When the PsaC-HydA1 polypeptide was expressed in a C. reinhardtii strain lacking endogenous hydrogenases, it was assembled into active PSI-HydA1 complexes that were accumulated at a level ∼75% that of PSI, which is ∼5 times higher than the PSI-HydA2 chimera. Hydrogen production by the chimera could be restored after complete inactivation by oxygen without requiring new synthesis of PSI or the PsaC-HydA1 polypeptide, demonstrating that the complex could be repaired in vivo. The PSI-HydA1 chimera reduces ferredoxin in vivo to such an extent that it can drive the Calvin-Benson-Bassham cycle, leading to high O2 production rates, and eventually resulting in inactivation of the hydrogenase; use of media that drastically diminished CO2 fixation and an O2-scavenging material allowed H2 production for at least 4 days.
- Green alga
- Photosystem I
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Fuel Technology
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology