Synechocystis sp PCC 6803 strains lacking photosystem I and phycobilisome function

Gaozhong Shen, Sammy Boussiba, Willem Vermaas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

195 Scopus citations


To design an in vivo system allowing detailed analysis of photosystem II (PSII) complexes without significant interference from other pigment complexes, part of the psaAB operon coding for the core proteins of photosystem I (PSI) and part of the apcE gene coding for the anchor protein linking the phycobilisome to the thylakoid membrane were deleted from the genome of the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp strain PCC 6803. Upon transformation and segregation at low light intensity (5 μE m-2 sec-1), a PSI deletion strain was obtained that is light tolerant and grows reasonably well under photoheterotrophic conditions at 5 μE m-2 sec-1 (doubling time ∼28 hr). Subsequent inactivation of apcE by an erythromycin resistance marker led to reduction of the phycobilin-to-chlorophyll ratio and to a further decrease in light sensitivity. The resulting PSI-less/apcE- strain grew photoheterotrophically at normal light intensity (50 μE m-2 sec-1) with a doubling time of 18 hr. Deletion of apcE in the wild type resulted in slow photoautotrophic growth. The remaining phycobilins in apcE- strains were inactive in transferring light energy to PSII. Cells of both the PSI-less and PSI-less/apcE- strains had an approximately sixfold enrichment of PSII on a chlorophyll basis and were as active in oxygen evolution (on a per PSII basis) as the wild type at saturating light intensity. Both PSI-less strains described here are highly appropriate both for detailed PSII studies and as background strains to analyze site- and region-directed PSII mutants in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1853-1863
Number of pages11
JournalPlant Cell
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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