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Journal of Bacteriology
Year: 2008  |  Volume: 190  |  Issue: 5  |  Page No.: 1554 - 1560

α-Tocopherol Is Essential for Acquired Chill-Light Tolerance in the Cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. Strain PCC 6803

Yang Yang, Chuntao Yin, Weizhi Li and Xudong Xu    

Abstract: Unlike Escherichia coli, the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. strain PCC 6803 is insensitive to chill (5°C) in the dark but rapidly losses viability when exposed to chill in the light (100 µmol photons m–2 s–1). Preconditioning at a low temperature (15°C) greatly enhances the chill-light tolerance of Synechocystis sp. strain PCC 6803. This phenomenon is called acquired chill-light tolerance (ACLT). Preconditioned wild-type cells maintained a substantially higher level of α-tocopherol after exposure to chill-light stress. Mutants unable to synthesize α-tocopherol, such as slr1736, slr1737, slr0089, and slr0090 mutants, almost completely lost ACLT. When exposed to chill without light, these mutants showed no or a slight difference from the wild type. When complemented, the slr0089 mutant regained its ACLT. Copper-regulated expression of slr0090 from PpetE controlled the level of α-tocopherol and ACLT. We conclude that α-tocopherol is essential for ACLT of Synechocystis sp. strain PCC 6803. The role of α-tocopherol in ACLT may be based largely on a nonantioxidant activity that is not possessed by other tocopherols or pathway intermediates.

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