Requirement of the exopolyphosphatase gene for cellular acclimation to phosphorus starvation in a cyanobacterium, Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803.

Affiliation

Hiyoshi T(1), Oyanagi K(1), Niki T(1), Fujiwara S(1), Sato N(2).
Author information:
(1)School of Life Sciences, Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Sciences, Horinouchi 1432-1, Hachioji, Tokyo, 192-0392, Japan.
(2)School of Life Sciences, Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Sciences, Horinouchi 1432-1, Hachioji, Tokyo, 192-0392, Japan. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

Polyphosphate, which is ubiquitous in cells in nature, is involved in a myriad of cellular functions, and has been recently focused on its metabolism related with microbial acclimation to phosphorus-source fluctuation. In view of the ecological importance of cyanobacteria as the primary producers, this study investigated the responsibility of polyphosphate metabolism for cellular acclimation to phosphorus starvation in a cyanobacterium, Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803, with the use of a disruptant (Δppx) as to the gene of exopolyphosphatase that is responsible for polyphosphate degradation. Δppx was similar to the wild type in the cellular content of polyphosphate to show no defect in cell growth under phosphorus-replete conditions. However, under phosphorus-starved conditions, Δppx cells were defective in a phosphorus-starvation dependent decrease of polyphosphate to show deleterious phenotypes as to their survival and the stabilization of the photosystem complexes. These results demonstrated some crucial role of exopolyphosphatase to degrade polyP in the acclimation of cyanobacterial cells to phosphorus-starved conditions. Besides, it was found that ppx expression is induced in Synechocystis cells in response to phosphorus starvation through the action of the two-component system, SphS and SphR, in the phosphate regulon. The information will be a foundation for a fuller understanding of the process of cyanobacterial acclimation to phosphorus fluctuation.