Acclimation of Trichodesmium erythraeum ISM101 to high and low irradiance analysed on the physiological, biophysical and biochemical level
A tribute in memory of our friend Ivan Šetlík (1928–2009).
Author for correspondence:
Tel: +49 7531 884112
- •As the nonheterocystous diazotrophic cyanobacterium Trichodesmium lives both at the ocean surface and deep in the water column, it has to acclimate to vastly different irradiances. Here, we investigate its strategy of light acclimation in several ways.
- •In this study, we used spectrally resolved fluorescence kinetic microscopy to investigate the biophysics of photosynthesis in individual cells, analysed cell extracts for pigment and phycobiliprotein composition, measured nitrogenase activity and the abundance of key proteins, and assayed protein synthesis/degradation by radioactive labelling.
- •After acclimation to high light, Trichodesmium grew faster at 1000 μmol m−2 s−1 than at 100 μmol m−2 s−1. This acclimation was associated with decreasing cell diameter, faster protein turnover, the down-regulation of light-harvesting pigments and the outer part of the phycobiliprotein antenna, the up-regulation of light-protective carotenoids, changes in the coupling of phycobilisomes to the reaction centres and in the coupling of individual phycobiliproteins to the phycobilisomes. The latter was particularly interesting, as it represents an as yet unreported light acclimation strategy.
- •Only in the low light-acclimated culture and only after the onset of actinic light did phycourobilin and phycoerythrin contribute to photochemical fluorescence quenching, showing that these phycobiliproteins may become quickly (in seconds) very closely coupled to photosystem II. This fast reversible coupling also became visible in the nonphotochemical changes of the fluorescence quantum yield.