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Transition from Anoxygenic to Oxygenic Photosynthesis in a Microcoleus chthonoplastes Cyanobacterial Mat

By Bo Barker Jørgensen, Yehuda Cohen and Niels Peter Revsbech


Benthic cyanobacterial mats with the filamentous Microcoleus chthonoplastes as the dominant phototroph grow in oxic hypersaline environments such as Solar Lake, Sinai. The cyanobacteria are in situ exposed to chemical variations between 200 μmol of sulfide liter−1 at night and 1 atm pO2 during the day. During experimental H2S to O2 transitions the microbial community was shown to shift from anoxygenic photosynthesis, with H2S as the electron donor, to oxygenic photosynthesis. Microcoleus filaments could carry out both types of photosynthesis concurrently. Anoxygenic photosynthesis dominated at high sulfide levels, 500 μmol liter−1, while the oxygenic reaction became dominant when the sulfide level was reduced below 100 to 300 μmol liter−1 (25 to 75 μmol of H2S liter−1). An increasing inhibition of the oxygenic photosynthesis was observed upon transition to oxic conditions from increasing sulfide concentrations. Oxygen built up within the Microcoleus layer of the mat even under 5 mmol of sulfide liter−1 (500 μmol of H2S liter−1) in the overlying water. The implications of such a localized O2 production in a highly reducing environment are discussed in relation to the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis during the Proterozoic era

Topics: General Microbial Ecology
Year: 1986
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:238882
Provided by: PubMed Central
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