Journal Article

Some Cyanobacteria Synthesize Semi-amylopectin Type α-Polyglucans Instead of Glycogen

Yasunori Nakamura, Jun-ichiro Takahashi, Aya Sakurai, Yumiko Inaba, Eiji Suzuki, Satoko Nihei, Shoko Fujiwara, Mikio Tsuzuki, Hideaki Miyashita, Hisato Ikemoto, Masanobu Kawachi, Hiroshi Sekiguchi and Norihide Kurano

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 46, issue 3, pages 539-545
Published in print March 2005 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online March 2005 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pcp/pci045
Some Cyanobacteria Synthesize Semi-amylopectin Type α-Polyglucans Instead of Glycogen

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It is widely accepted that green plants evolved the capacity to synthesize the highly organized branched α-polyglucan amylopectin with tandem-cluster structure, whereas animals and bacteria continued to produce random branched glycogen. Although most previous studies documented that cyanobacteria accumulate glycogen, the present study shows explicitly that some cyanobacteria such as Cyanobacterium sp. MBIC10216, Myxosarcina burmensis and Synechococcus sp. BG043511 had distinct α-polyglucans, which were designated as semi-amylopectin. The semi-amylopectin was intermediate between rice amylopectin and typical cyanobacterial glycogen in terms of chain length distribution, molecular size and length of the most abundant α-1,4-chain. It was also found that Cyanobacterium sp. MBIC10216 had no amylose-type component in its α-polyglucans. The evolutionary aspect of the structure of α-polyglucan is discussed in relation to the phylogenetic evolutionary tree of 16S rRNA sequences of cyanobacteria.

Keywords: Amylopectin; Cyanobacteria; Glycogen; α-Polyglucan; Starch; DP, degree of polymerization; MP, maximum parsimony; NJ, neighbor joining

Journal Article.  3009 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biochemistry ; Molecular and Cell Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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