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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Restoration of phototrophic growth in a mutant of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii in which the chloroplast atpB gene of the ATP synthase has a deletion: an example of mitochondria-dependent photosynthesis.

The Chlamydomonas reinhardtii mutant FUD50 has a deletion in the atpB gene of the chloroplast ATP synthase [Woessner, J. P., Masson, A., Harris, E. H., Bennoun, P., Gillham, N. W., and Boynton, J. E. (1984) Plant Mol. Biol. 3, 177-190]. We have isolated a suppressed strain (FUD50su) that can grow under phototrophic conditions, although it still showed no synthesis of the beta subunit of coupling factor 1. Thylakoid membranes of the FUD50su strain were similar to those of the original FUD50 strain, in that they both lacked all the subunits making up the chloroplast ATP synthase complex. We show that photosynthesis in FUD50su is sensitive to inhibitors such as antimycin, specific for mitochondrial electron transport. This observation indicates that photosynthesis in the FUD50su strain is achieved through an unusual interaction between mitochondria and chloroplast. Exportation of light-induced reduced compounds from the chloroplast to the mitochondria elicits ATP formation in the latter, and ATP is subsequently imported to the chloroplast. The activation of such an ATP shuttle coupled to an NADPH shuttle would thus provide the reducing power and the free energy needed for carbon assimilation in a chloroplast that lacks chloroplast ATP synthase.[1]


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