The psbA gene family responds differentially to light and UVB stress in Gloeobacter violaceus PCC 7421, a deeply divergent cyanobacterium

Cosmin I. Sicora, Christopher M. Brown, Otilia Cheregi, Imre Vass, Douglas A. Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Citations (Scopus)


Gloeobacter violaceus PCC 7421 is a slow-growing cyanobacterium which lacks thylakoid membranes, but whose five-membered psbA gene family encodes three isoform variants of the PsbA (D1) reaction center protein of Photosystem II. Under standard culture conditions Gloeobacter exhibits photosystem II electron transport, but several clear modifications in the redox potential of key cofactors bound by the PsbA protein are manifested in the flash-fluorescence characteristics. In other cyanobacteria dynamic expression of multiple psbA genes and turnover of PsbA isoforms is critical to counter excitation stress. We found that each of Gloeobacter's five psbA genes is expressed, with transcript abundances spanning 4.5 orders of magnitude. psbAI (glr2322) and psbAII (glr0779), encoding identical PsbA:2 form proteins, are constitutively expressed and dominate the psbA transcript pool under control conditions. psbAIII (gll3144) was strongly induced under photoinhibitory high irradiance stress, thereby contributing to a large increase in the psbA transcript pool that allowed cells to maintain their PsbA protein pools and then recover from irradiance stress, within one cellular generation. In contrast, under comparable photoinhibition provoked by UVB the cells were unable to maintain their psbA transcript and PsbA protein pools, and showed limited subsequent recovery. psbAIV (glr1706) and psbAV (glr2656), encoding two divergent PsbA isoforms, showed consistent trace expression but were never quantitatively significant contributors to the psbA transcript pool.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-139
Number of pages10
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2008


  • D1 protein
  • Gloeobacter
  • Light
  • Photosystem II
  • UV
  • psbA gene family

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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