Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
The photosynthetic apparatus of Rhodobacter sphaeroides is comprised of three types of pigment-protein complex: the photochemical reaction centre and its attendant LH1 and LH2 light-harvesting complexes. To augment existing deletion/insertion mutants in the genes coding for these complexes we have constructed two further mutants, one of which is a novel double mutant which is devoid of all three types of complex. We have also constructed vectors for the expression of either LH1, LH2 or reaction-centre genes. The resulting system allows each pigment-protein complex to be studied either as part of an intact photosystem or as the sole complex in the cell. In this way we have demonstrated that reaction centres can assemble independently of either light-harvesting complex in R sphaeroides. In addition, the isolation of derivatives of the deletion/insertion mutants exhibiting spontaneous mutations in carotenoid biosynthesis provides an avenue for examining the role of carotenoids in the assembly of the photo-synthetic apparatus. We show that the LH1 complex is assembled regardless of the carotenoid background, and that the type of carotenoid present modifies the absorbance of the LH1 bacteriochlorophylls.
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