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The CO 2 -concentrating mechanism in a starchless mutant of the green unicellular alga Chlorella pyrenoidosa

María del Pino Plumed, Arsenio Villarejo, Asunción de los Ríos, Guillermo García-Reina and Ziyadin Ramazanov
Planta
Vol. 200, No. 1 (1996), pp. 28-31
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23384581
Page Count: 4
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The CO
          2
          -concentrating mechanism in a starchless mutant of the green unicellular alga Chlorella pyrenoidosa
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Abstract

The CO2-concentrating mechanism (CCM) was induced in the green unicellular alga Chlorella when cells were transferred from high (5% CO2) to low (0.03%) CO2 concentrations. The induction of the CCM correlated with the formation of a starch sheath specifically around the pyrenoid in the chloroplast. With the aim of clarifying whether the starch sheath was involved in the operation of the CCM, we isolated and physiologically characterized a starchless mutant of Chlorella pyrenoidosa, designated as IAA-36. The mutant strain grew as vigorously as the wild type under high and low CO2 concentrations, continuous light and a 12 h light/12 h dark photoperiod. The CO2 requirement for half-maximal rates of photosynthesis [K0.5 (CO2)] decreased from 40 μM to 2—3 μM of CO2 when both wild type and mutant were switched from high to low CO2. The high affinity for inorganic carbon indicates that the IAA-36 mutant is able to induce a fully active CCM. Since the mutant does not have the pyrenoid starch sheath, we conclude that the sheath is not involved in the operation of the CCM in Chlorella cells.

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