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Functional analysis of conserved chloroplast and cyanobacterial genes

Cyanobacteria are the ancestors of chloroplasts. Consequently most chloroplast genes show a remarkable degree of sequence similarity to cyanobacterial genes. We are examining the phenotypic consequences of the inactivation of cyanobacterial genes that are homologous to conserved chloroplast genes with unknown function.
This work and analyses of other groups showed that most of the conserved open reading frames in plastids function in photosynthesis. Using this approach we have currently identified five new genes that are essential for efficient photosynthesis in prokaryotic and definitely also in eukaryotic organisms. Several of these conserved ycfs we found to function in the assembly of photosystem I. In a recent approach we were able to elucidate the late steps in photosystem I assembly in cyanobacteria. Two other ycfs are involved in chlorophyll metabolism in cyanobacteria as well as in plants.


Prof. B. Grimm – Humboldt University Berlin, Plant Physiology
Dr: Roman Sobotka - Institute of Microbiology, Department of Autotrophic Microorganisms Trebon, Czech Republic


Wallner T, Hagiwara Y, Bernát G, Sobotka R, Reijerse EJ, Frankenberg-Dinkel N, Wilde A. (2012) Inactivation of the conserved open reading frame ycf34 of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 interferes with the photosynthetic electron transport chain. Biochim. Biophys. Acta. 1871, 2016-2026.

Peter E, Wallner T, Wilde A, Grimm B. (2011) Comparative functional analysis of two hypothetical chloroplast open reading frames (ycf) involved in chlorophyll biosynthesis from Synechocystis sp. PCC6803 and plants. J. Plant Physiol. 168, 1380-1386.

Peter E, Salinas A, Wallner T, Jeske D, Dienst D, Wilde A, Grimm B. (2009) Differential requirement of two homologous proteins encoded by sll1214 and sll1874 for the reaction of Mg protoporphyrin monomethylester oxidative cyclise under aerobic and micro-oxic growth conditions. Biochim. Biophys. Acta. 1787, 1458-1467.

Sobotka, R., Dühring, U., Komenda, J., Peter, E., Gardian, Z., Tichy, M., Grimm, B., Wilde, A. (2008) Importance of the cyanobacterial Gun4 protein for chlorophyll metabolism and assembly of photosynthetic complexes, J. Biol. Chem. 283, 25794-25802

Dühring, U., Irrgang, K.-D., Lünser, K., Kehr, J., Wilde, A. (2006) Analysis of photosynthetic complexes from a cyanobacterial ycf37 mutant. Biochim. Biophys. Acta (Bioenergetics) 1757, 3-11.

Wilde, A., Mikolajczyk, S., Alawady, A., Lokstein, H., Grimm, B. (2004) The gun4 gene is essential for cyanobacterial porphyrin metabolism. FEBS Lett. 571, 119-123.

Wilde, A., Lünser, K., Ossenbühl, F., Nickelsen, J., Börner, T. (2001) Characterization of the cyanobacterial ycf37: mutation decreases the photosystem I content. Biochem. J. 357, 211-216.

Wilde, A., Härtel, H., Hübschmann, T., Hoffmann, P., Shestakov, S.V., Börner, T. (1995) Inactivation of a Synechocystis sp. strain PCC 6803 gene with homology to conserved chloroplast open reading frame 184 increases the photosystem II-to-photosystem I ratio. Plant Cell 7, 649-658

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