Eukaryotic algal phytochromes span the visible spectrum

Nathan C. Rockwell, Deqiang Duanmu, Shelley S. Martin, Charles Bachy, Dana Price, Debashi Bhattacharya, Alexandra Z. Worden, J. Clark Lagarias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

86 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Plant phytochromes are photoswitchable red/far-red photoreceptors that allow competition with neighboring plants for photosynthetically active red light. In aquatic environments, red and far-red light are rapidly attenuated with depth; therefore, photosynthetic species must use shorter wavelengths of light. Nevertheless, phytochrome-related proteins are found in recently sequenced genomes of many eukaryotic algae from aquatic environments. We examined the photosensory properties of seven phytochromes from diverse algae: four prasinophyte (green algal) species, the heterokont (brown algal) Ectocarpus siliculosus, and two glaucophyte species. We demonstrate that algal phytochromes are not limited to red and far-red responses. Instead, different algal phytochromes can sense orange, green, and even blue light. Characterization of these previously undescribed photosensors using CD spectroscopy supports a structurally heterogeneous chromophore in the far-red-absorbing photostate. Our study thus demonstrates that extensive spectral tuning of phytochromes has evolved in phylogenetically distinct lineages of aquatic photosynthetic eukaryotes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3871-3876
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume111
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 11 2014

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Phytochrome
Light
Eukaryota
Spectrum Analysis
Genome

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

Keywords

  • Bilin
  • Biliprotein
  • Photochemistry
  • Photoswitch
  • Tetrapyrrole

Cite this

Rockwell, Nathan C. ; Duanmu, Deqiang ; Martin, Shelley S. ; Bachy, Charles ; Price, Dana ; Bhattacharya, Debashi ; Worden, Alexandra Z. ; Lagarias, J. Clark. / Eukaryotic algal phytochromes span the visible spectrum. In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2014 ; Vol. 111, No. 10. pp. 3871-3876.
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Eukaryotic algal phytochromes span the visible spectrum. / Rockwell, Nathan C.; Duanmu, Deqiang; Martin, Shelley S.; Bachy, Charles; Price, Dana; Bhattacharya, Debashi; Worden, Alexandra Z.; Lagarias, J. Clark.

In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 111, No. 10, 11.03.2014, p. 3871-3876.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Rockwell, Nathan C.

AU - Duanmu, Deqiang

AU - Martin, Shelley S.

AU - Bachy, Charles

AU - Price, Dana

AU - Bhattacharya, Debashi

AU - Worden, Alexandra Z.

AU - Lagarias, J. Clark

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