Light stress in green and red Planktothrix strains: The orange carotenoid protein and its related photoprotective mechanism.


UMR 7245 MCAM, Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle - CNRS, Paris, 12 rue Buffon, CP 39, 75231 Paris Cedex 05, France. Electronic address: [Email]


Photosynthetic organisms need to sense and respond to fluctuating environmental conditions, to perform efficient photosynthesis and avoid the formation of harmful reactive oxygen species. Cyanobacteria have developed a photoprotective mechanism that decreases the energy arriving at the reaction centers by increasing thermal energy dissipation at the level of the phycobilisome, the extramembranal light-harvesting antenna. This mechanism is triggered by the photoactive orange carotenoid protein (OCP). In this study, we characterized OCP and the related photoprotective mechanism in non-stressed and light-stressed cells of three different strains of Planktothrix that can form impressive blooms. In addition to changing lake ecosystemic functions and biodiversity, Planktothrix blooms can have adverse effects on human and animal health as they produce toxins (e.g., microcystins). Three Planktothrix strains were selected: two green strains, PCC 10110 (microcystin producer) and PCC 7805 (non-microcystin producer), and one red strain, PCC 7821. The green strains colonize shallow lakes with higher light intensities while red strains proliferate in deep lakes. Our study allowed us to conclude that there is a correlation between the ecological niche in which these strains proliferate and the rates of induction and recovery of OCP-related photoprotection. However, differences in the resistance to prolonged high-light stress were correlated to a better replacement of damaged D1 protein and not to differences in OCP photoprotection. Finally, microcystins do not seem to be involved in photoprotection as was previously suggested.


Cyanobacteria,Fluorescence,Microcystin,Orange carotenoid protein,Planktothrix,