Effects of chlorophyll availability on phycobilisomes in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803

Jiujiu Yu, Qingyu Wu, Haibin Mao, Nanming Zhao, Wim F.J. Vermaas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations


Inactivation of the chlL gene in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 resulted in negligible chlorophyll content when the mutant was grown in darkness. Upon phycocyanin excitation at 580 nm, the 77K fluorescence spectrum of dark-grown cells showed three peaks at 648 nm, 665 nm, and 685 nm, this last being the largest. This reflects the functional presence of major components of phycobilisomes, including phycocyanin, allophycocyanin, and the terminal emitter, and efficient energy transfer between these components. As expected, no fluorescence emission peaks corresponding to chlorophyll in the photosystems were observed. Intact phycobilisomes could be isolated from the dark-grown chlL-deletion mutant. However, the phycobilisomes had a lower efficiency of energy transfer than did those isolated from the light-grown mutant, probably because of a decreased phycobilisome stability in the absence of chlorophyll. Exposing the dark-grown chlL-deletion mutant to light triggered the biosynthesis of chlorophyll. For the first 6 h in the light, upon phycocyanin excitation at 580 nm, the 77K fluorescence emission spectrum of greening cells was identical to that of dark-grown cells that lacked significant amounts of chlorophyll. With increased chlorophyll synthesis, gradual energy transfer from phycobilisomes to the two photosystems can be demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)625-630
Number of pages6
JournalIUBMB Life
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1999



  • Chlorophyll
  • Energy transfer
  • Fluorescence emission
  • Phycobilisome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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