Spectral properties of bacteriophytochrome AM1_5894 in the chlorophyll d-containing cyanobacterium Acaryochloris marina Academic Article uri icon


  • Acaryochloris marina, a unicellular oxygenic photosynthetic cyanobacterium, has uniquely adapted to far-red light-enriched environments using red-shifted chlorophyll d. To understand red-light use in Acaryochloris, the genome of this cyanobacterium was searched for red/far-red light photoreceptors from the phytochrome family, resulting in identification of a putative bacteriophytochrome AM1_5894. AM1_5894 contains three standard domains of photosensory components as well as a putative C-terminal signal transduction component consisting of a histidine kinase and receiver domain. The photosensory domains of AM1_5894 autocatalytically assemble with biliverdin in a covalent fashion. This assembled AM1_5894 shows the typical photoreversible conversion of bacterial phytochromes with a ground-state red-light absorbing (Pr) form with λBV max[Pr] 705 nm, and a red-light inducible far-red light absorbing (Pfr) form with λBV max[Pfr] 758 nm. Surprisingly, AM1_5894 also autocatalytically assembles with phycocyanobilin, involving photoreversible conversion of λPCB max[Pr] 682 nm and λPCB max[Pfr] 734 nm, respectively. Our results suggest phycocyanobilin is also covalently bound to AM1_5894, while mutation of a cysteine residue (Cys11Ser) abolishes this covalent binding. The physiological function of AM1_5894 in cyanobacteria containing red-shifted chlorophylls is discussed.


  • Loughlin, PC
  • Duxbury, Z
  • Mugerwa, TTM
  • Smith, PMC
  • Willows, RD
  • Chen, M

publication date

  • 2016