Interactions of photosynthesis with genome size and function

John A. Raven*, John Beardall, Anthony W. D. Larkum, Patricia Sanchez-Baracaldo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Photolithotrophs are divided between those that use water as their electron donor (Cyanobacteria and the photosynthetic eukaryotes) and those that use a different electron donor (the anoxygenic photolithotrophs, all of them Bacteria). Photolithotrophs with the most reduced genomes have more genes than do the corresponding chemoorganotrophs, and the fastest-growing photolithotrophs have significantly lower specific growth rates than the fastest-growing chemoorganotrophs. Slower growth results from diversion of resources into the photosynthetic apparatus, which accounts for about half of the cell protein. There are inherent dangers in (especially oxygenic) photosynthesis, including the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and blue light sensitivity of the water spitting apparatus. The extent to which photolithotrophs incur greater DNA damage and repair, and faster protein turnover with increased rRNA requirement, needs further investigation. A related source of environmental damage is ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation (280–320 nm), whose flux at the Earth's surface decreased as oxygen (and ozone) increased in the atmosphere. This oxygenation led to the requirements of defence against ROS, and decreasing availability to organisms of combined (non-dinitrogen) nitrogen and ferrous iron, and (indirectly) phosphorus, in the oxygenated biosphere. Differential codon usage in the genome and, especially, the proteome can lead to economies in the use of potentially growth-limiting elements
Original languageEnglish
Article number20120264
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalPhilosophical Transactions B: Biological Sciences
Volume368
Issue number1622
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jul 2013

Keywords

  • gene number
  • genome size
  • growth rate
  • highly expressed proteins
  • oxygenic photosynthesis
  • ultraviolet radiation
  • ULTRAVIOLET ACTION SPECTRA
  • CARBON FIXATION PATHWAYS
  • MINIMAL GENE-SETS
  • PHYTOPLANKTON GROWTH
  • MARINE-PHYTOPLANKTON
  • PHOTOSYSTEM-II
  • PROCHLOROCOCCUS ECOTYPES
  • SUPEROXIDE-DISMUTASE
  • ATMOSPHERIC OXYGEN
  • NOSTOC-PUNCTIFORME

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