Origin of Life

Theories and evidence for chemical biopoieses

Cyanobacteria abstracts

The bioenergetic role of dioxygen and the terminal oxidase(s) in cyanobacteria. : "Owing to the release of 13 largely or totally sequenced cyanobacterial genomes, it is now possible to critically assess and compare the most neglected aspect of cyanobacterial physiology, i.e., cyanobacterial respiration, also on the grounds of pure molecular biology (gene sequences). While there is little doubt that cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) do form the largest, most diversified and in both evolutionary and ecological respects most significant group of (micro)organisms on our earth, and that what renders our blue planet earth to what it is, viz. the O(2)-containing atmosphere, dates back to the oxygenic photosynthetic activity of primordial cyanobacteria about 3.2x10(9) years ago, there is still an amazing lack of knowledge on the second half of bioenergetic oxygen metabolism in cyanobacteria, on (aerobic) respiration. Thus, the purpose of this review is threefold: (1) to point out the unprecedented role of the cyanobacteria for maintaining the delicate steady state of our terrestrial biosphere and atmosphere through a major contribution to the poising of oxygenic photosynthesis against aerobic respiration ("the global biological oxygen cycle"); (2) to briefly highlight the membrane-bound electron-transport assemblies of respiration and photosynthesis in the unique two-membrane system of cyanobacteria (comprising cytoplasmic membrane and intracytoplasmic or thylakoid membranes, without obvious anastomoses between them); and (3) to critically compare the (deduced) amino acid sequences of the multitude of hypothetical terminal oxidases in the nine fully sequenced cyanobacterial species plus four additional species where at least the terminal oxidases were sequenced. These will then be compared with sequences of other proton-pumping haem-copper oxidases, with special emphasis on possible mechanisms of electron and proton transfer."

Paumann M, Regelsberger G, Obinger C, Peschek GA. The bioenergetic role of dioxygen and the terminal oxidase(s) in cyanobacteria. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2005 Apr-May;1707(2-3):231-53. Epub 2005 Jan 26.

Common freshwater cyanobacteria grow in 100% CO2. : "Cyanobacteria and similar organisms produced most of the oxygen found in Earth's atmosphere, which implies that early photosynthetic organisms would have lived in an atmosphere that was rich in CO2 and poor in O2. We investigated the tolerance of several cyanobacteria to very high (>20 kPa) concentrations of atmospheric CO2. Cultures of Synechococcus PCC7942, Synechocystis PCC7942, Plectonema boryanum, and Anabaena sp. were grown in liquid culture sparged with CO2-enriched air. All four strains grew when transferred from ambient CO2 to 20 kPa partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2), but none of them tolerated direct transfer to 40 kPa pCO2. Synechococcus and Anabaena survived 101 kPa (100%) pCO2 when pressure was gradually increased by 15 kPa per day, and Plectonema actively grew under these conditions. All four strains grew in an anoxic atmosphere of 5 kPa pCO2 in N2. Strains that were sensitive to high CO2 were also sensitive to low initial pH (pH 5-6). However, low pH in itself was not sufficient to prevent growth. Although mechanisms of damage and survival are still under investigation, we have shown that modern cyanobacteria can survive under Earth's primordial conditions and that cyanobacteria-like organisms could have flourished under conditions on early Mars, which probably had an atmosphere similar to early Earth's."
Thomas DJ, Sullivan SL, Price AL, Zimmerman SM. Common freshwater cyanobacteria grow in 100% CO2. Astrobiology. 2005 Feb;5(1):66-74.


Blogger qtr said...

If the PubMed link takes you to the Search page rather than the article, simply copy and paste the Title.

12:08 PM  

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