Evolution of heliobacteria: Implications for photosynthetic reaction center complexes

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77 Scopus citations

Abstract

The evolutionary position of the heliobacteria, a group of green photosynthetic bacteria with a photosynthetic apparatus functionally resembling Photosystem I of plants and cyanobacteria, has been investigated with respect to the evolutionary relationship to Gram-positive bacteria and cyanobacteria. On the basis of 16S rRNA sequence analysis, the heliobacteria appear to be most closely related to Gram-positive bacteria, but also an evolutionary link to cyanobacteria is evident. Interestingly, a 46-residue domain including the putative sixth membrane-spanning region of the heliobacterial reaction center protein shows rather strong similarity (33% identity and 72% similarity) to a region including the sixth membrane-spanning region of the CP47 protein, a chlorophyll-binding core antenna polypeptide of Photosystem II. The N-terminal half of the heliobacterial reaction center polypeptide shows a moderate sequence similarity (22% identity over 232 residues) with the CP47 protein, which is significantly more than the similarity with the Photosystem I core polypeptides in this region. An evolutionary model for photosynthetic reaction center complexes is discussed, in which an ancestral homodimeric reaction center protein (possibly resembling the heliobacterial reaction center protein) with 11 membrane-spanning regions per polypeptide has diverged to give rise to core of Photosystem I, Photosystem II, and of the photosynthetic apparatus in green, purple, and heliobacteria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-294
Number of pages10
JournalPhotosynthesis research
Volume41
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 1994

Keywords

  • 16S rRNA sequence
  • Gram-positive bacteria
  • cyanobacteria
  • heliobacteria
  • photosynthesis
  • reaction center

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology

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