Journal article

The Antarctic psychrophile, Chlamydomonas raudensis Ettl (UWO241) (Chlorophyceae, Chlorophyta), exhibits a limited capacity to photoacclimate to red light


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Publication Details

Author list: Pocock, Tessa

Publication year: 2005

Start page: 791

End page: 800

Number of pages: 10

ISSN: 0022-3646


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The psychrophilic Antarctic alga, Chlamydomonas raudensis Ettl (UWO241), grows under an extreme environment of low temperature and low irradiance of a limited spectral quality (blue-green). We investigated the ability of C. raudensis to acclimate to long-term imbalances in excitation caused by light quality through adjustments in photosystem stoichiometry. Log-phase cultures of C. raudensis and C. reinhardtii grown under white light were shifted to either blue or red light for 12 h. Previously, we reported that C. raudensis lacks the ability to redistribute light energy via the short-term mechanism of state transitions. However, similar to the model of mesophilic alga, C. reinhardtii, the psychrophile retained the capacity for long-term adjustment in energy distribution between PSI and PSII by modulating the levels of PSI reaction center polypeptides, PsaA/PsaB, with minimal changes in the content of the PSII polypeptide, D1, in response to changes in light quality. The functional consequences of the modulation in PSI/PSII stoichiometry in the psychrophile were distinct from those observed in C. reinhardtii. Exposure of C. raudensis to red light caused 1) an inhibition of growth and photosynthetic rates, 2) an increased reduction state of the intersystem plastoquinone pool with concomitant increases in nonphotochemical quenching, 3) an uncoupling of the major light-harvesting complex from the PSII core, and 4) differential thylakoid protein phosphorylation profiles compared with C. reinhardtii. We conclude that the characteristic low levels of PSI relative to PSII set the limit in the capacity of C. raudensis to photoacclimate to an environment enriched in red light.


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