• Amphidinium carterae ;
  • chloroplast;
  • CO2–concentrating mechanism;
  • dinoflagellate;
  • Peridinium foliaceum;
  • Phaeodactylum tricornutum;
  • pyrenoid;
  • Rubisco Form II

Chloroplasts of peridinin-containing dinoflagellates have recently been shown to contain Form II Rubisco, which consists of large subunits only and is coded by nuclear genes. We have used immunoelectron microscopy to determine the distribution of Form II and Form I Rubisco in dinoflagellates. In sections of Amphidinium carterae Hulburt, the pyrenoid was intensely labeled and the rest of the chloroplast moderately labeled by antisera to Form II Rubisco from the purple non-sulfur bacterium Rhodospirillum rubrum and the symbiotic dinoflagellate Symbiodinium sp. No labeling was observed when sections were exposed to antiserum against Form I Rubisco of the haptophyte alga Isochrysis galbana. In contrast, cell sections of the dinoflagellate Peridinium foliaceum (Stein) Biecheler, whose chloroplasts belong to a diatom endosymbiont, showed no labeling with the two antisera against Form II Rubisco, but heavy pyrenoid labeling was present after treatment with antiserum against Form I Rubisco of I. galbana. The same immunolabeling results were obtained with the free-living diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum Bohlin. Volumetric analysis of the distribution of Form II Rubisco in the chloroplast of A. carterae showed that, in cells grown under moderate photon irradiance, 72.9% of the plastid's Rubisco was localized in the pyrenoid, whereas in cells grown under low irradiance only 37.0% of the Rubisco was found in the pyrenoid. This light-induced concentration of Rubisco in the pyrenoid suggests that a CO2–concentrating mechanism may elevate CO2 within the pyrenoid, favoring the efficient fixation of CO2 by pyrenoid Rubisco.