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The chloroplast signal recognition particle (CpSRP) pathway as a tool to minimize chlorophyll antenna size and maximize photosynthetic productivity.


The concept of the Truncated Light-harvesting chlorophyll Antenna (TLA) size, as a tool by which to maximize sunlight utilization and photosynthetic productivity in microalgal mass cultures or high-density plant canopies, is discussed. TLA technology is known to improve sunlight-to-product energy conversion efficiencies and is hereby exemplified by photosynthetic productivity estimates of wild type and a TLA strain under simulated mass culture conditions. Recent advances in the generation of TLA-type mutants by targeting genes of the chloroplast signal-recognition particle (CpSRP) pathway, affecting the thylakoid membrane assembly of light-harvesting proteins, are also summarized. Two distinct CpSRP assembly pathways are recognized, one entailing post-translational, the other a co-translational mechanism. Differences between the post-translational and co-translational integration mechanisms are outlined, as these pertain to the CpSRP-mediated assembly of thylakoid membrane protein complexes in higher plants and green microalgae. The applicability of the CpSRP pathway genes in efforts to generate TLA-type strains with enhanced solar energy conversion efficiency in photosynthesis is evaluated.

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