Journal Article

Digalactosyldiacylglycerol is Required for Better Photosynthetic Growth of <i>Synechocystis</i> sp. PCC6803 Under Phosphate Limitation

Koichiro Awai, Hideo Watanabe, Christoph Benning and Ikuo Nishida

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 48, issue 11, pages 1517-1523
Published in print November 2007 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online November 2007 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pcp/pcm134
Digalactosyldiacylglycerol is Required for Better Photosynthetic Growth of Synechocystis sp. PCC6803 Under Phosphate Limitation

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Digalactosyldiacylglycerol (DGDG) is a typical membrane lipid of oxygenic photosynthetic organisms. Although DGDG synthase genes have been isolated from plants, no homologous gene has been annotated in the genomes of cyanobacteria and the unicellular red alga Cyanidioschyzon merolae. Here we used a comparative genomics approach and identified a non-plant-type DGDG synthase gene (designated dgdA) in Synechocystis sp. PCC6803. The enzyme produced DGDG in Escherichia coli when co-expressed with a cucumber monogalactosyldiacylglycerol synthase. A ΔdgdA knock-out mutant showed no obvious phenotype other than loss of DGDG when grown in a BG11 medium, indicating that DGDG is dispensable under optimal conditions. However, the mutant showed reduced growth under phosphate-limited conditions, suggesting that DGDG may be required under phosphate-limited conditions, such as those in natural niches of cyanobacteria.

Keywords: Comparative genomics; Digalactosyldiacylglycerol; Galactolipid; Glycosyltransferase; Phosphate limitation; Thylakoid membrane

Journal Article.  3659 words.  Illustrated.

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

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