Rubisco small subunits from the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas complement Rubisco-deficient mutants of Arabidopsis

Nicky Atkinson, Nuno Laeitao, Douglas J Orr, Moritz T Meyer, Elizabete Carmo-Silva, Howard Griffiths, Alison M Smith, Alistair McCormick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Introducing components of algal carbon concentrating mechanisms (CCMs) into higher plant chloroplasts could increase photosynthetic productivity. A key component is the Rubisco-containing pyrenoid that is needed to minimise CO2 retro diffusion for CCM operating efficiency.

Rubisco in Arabidopsis was re-engineered to incorporate sequence elements which are thought be essential for recruitment of Rubisco to the pyrenoid, viz the algal Rubisco small subunit (SSU, encoded by rbcS) or only the surface-exposed SSU α-helices.

Leaves of Arabidopsis rbcs mutants expressing “pyrenoid-competent” chimeric Arabidopsis SSUs containing the SSU α-helices from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii can form hybrid Rubisco complexes with catalytic properties similar to those of native Rubisco, suggesting that the α-helices are catalytically neutral.

The growth and photosynthetic performance of complemented Arabidopsis rbcs mutants producing near wild-type levels of the hybrid Rubisco were similar to those of wild-type controls.

Arabidopsis rbcs mutants expressing the Chlamydomonas SSU differed from wild type plants with respect to Rubisco catalysis, photosynthesis and growth. This confirms a role for the SSU in influencing Rubisco catalytic properties.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNew Phytologist
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jan 2017

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • carbon concentrating mechanism
  • Arabidopsis
  • thaliana
  • Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
  • tobacco
  • pyrenoid
  • chloroplast
  • photosynthesis
  • Rubisco

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