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Trophic status of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii influences the impact of iron deficiency on photosynthesis

  • Author(s): Terauchi, Aimee M.
  • Peers, Graham
  • Kobayashi, Marilyn C.
  • Niyogi, Krishna K.
  • Merchant, Sabeeha S.
  • et al.
Abstract

To investigate the impact of iron deficiency on bioenergetic pathways in Chlamydomonas, we compared growth rates, iron content, and photosynthetic parameters systematically in acetate versus CO2-grown cells. Acetate-grown cells have, predictably (2-fold) greater abundance of respiration components but also, counter-intuitively, more chlorophyll on a per cell basis. We found that phototrophic cells are less impacted by iron deficiency and this correlates with their higher iron content on a per cell basis, suggesting a greater capacity/ability for iron assimilation in this metabolic state. Phototrophic cells maintain both photosynthetic and respiratory function and their associated Fe-containing proteins in conditions where heterotrophic cells lose photosynthetic capacity and have reduced oxygen evolution activity. Maintenance of NPQ capacity might contribute to protection of the photosynthetic apparatus in iron-limited phototrophic cells. Acetate-grown iron-limited cells maintain high growth rates by suppressing photosynthesis but increasing instead respiration. These cells are also able to maintain a reduced plastoquinone pool.

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