Antenna Modification in a Fast-Growing Cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus UTEX 2973 Leads to Improved Efficiency and Carbon-Neutral Productivity

Annesha Sengupta, Anindita Bandyopadhyay, Max G. Schubert, George M. Church, Himadri B. Pakrasi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Our planet is sustained by sunlight, the primary energy source made accessible to all life forms by photoautotrophs. Photoautotrophs are equipped with light-harvesting complexes (LHCs) that enable efficient capture of solar energy, particularly when light is limiting. However, under high light, LHCs can harvest photons in excess of the utilization capacity of cells, causing photodamage. This damaging effect is most evident when there is a disparity between the amount of light harvested and carbon available. Cells strive to circumvent this problem by dynamically adjusting the antenna structure in response to the changing light signals, a process known to be energetically expensive. Much emphasis has been laid on elucidating the relationship between antenna size and photosynthetic efficiency and identifying strategies to synthetically modify antennae for optimal light capture. Our study is an effort in this direction and investigates the possibility of modifying phycobilisomes, the LHCs present in cyanobacteria, the simplest of photoautotrophs. We systematically truncate the phycobilisomes of Synechococcus elongatus UTEX 2973, a widely studied, fast-growing model cyanobacterium and demonstrate that partial truncation of its antenna can lead to a growth advantage of up to 36% compared to the wild type and an increase in sucrose titer of up to 22%. In contrast, targeted deletion of the linker protein which connects the first phycocyanin rod to the core proved detrimental, indicating that the core alone is not enough, and it is essential to maintain a minimal rod-core structure for efficient light harvest and strain fitness.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMicrobiology spectrum
Volume11
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2023

Keywords

  • CRISPR-Cas3
  • antenna modification
  • cyanobacteria
  • light harvesting
  • sucrose production

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Antenna Modification in a Fast-Growing Cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus UTEX 2973 Leads to Improved Efficiency and Carbon-Neutral Productivity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this