Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary A facultative photo- and chemoheterotroph, the unicellular bluegreen alga Aphanocapsa 6714, dissimilates glucose with formation of CO2 as the only major product. A substantial fraction of the glucose consumed is assimilated and stored as polyglucose (probably glycogen). The oxidation of glucose proceeds through the pentose phosphate pathway. The first enzyme of this pathway, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, is partly inducible. In addition, the rate of glucose oxidation is controlled, at the level of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase function, by the intracellular level of an intermediate of the Calvin cycle, ribulose-1,5-diphosphate, which is a specific allosteric inhibitor of this enzyme. As a consequence, the rate of glucose oxidation is greatly reduced by illumination, an effect reversed by the presence of DCMU, an inhibitor of photosystem II. Two obligate photoautotrophs, Synechococcus 6301 and Aphanocapsa 6308, produce CO2 from glucose at extremely low rates, although their levels of pentose pathway enzymes and of hexokinase are similar to those in Aphanocapsa 6714. Failure to grow with glucose appears to reflect the absence of an effective glucose permease. A general hypothesis concerning the primary pathways of carbon metabolism in blue-green algae is presented.
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