Blue and red light reversibly control psbA expression in the cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7942

Nicholas F. Tsinoremas, Michael R. Schaefer, Susan S. Golden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


The three psbA genes encoding the photosystem II D1 protein in Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7942 respond differentially to an increase in intensity of white light through transcriptional induction of psbAII and psbAIII and accelerated degradation of psbAI and psbAIII messages. We report that the genes exhibit a novel photoreversible response involving blue and red light that is almost indistinguishable from the high-white light response. Transfer of cells from white to low-fluence blue light caused a decrease in the level of the psbAI message and increased levels of psbAII and psbAIII messages, whereas transfer to red or far-red light had little effect. Five min of blue light was sufficient to trigger psbAII and psbAIII induction; five min of subsequent red irradiation attenuated this response, whereas subsequent green or far-red light (or darkness) had no effect. Response to both high and blue light was insensitive to inhibitors of photosynthetic electron transport. We propose that Synechococcus modulates photosystem II biosynthesis in a variable light environment through a photoreception signal pathway, which is independent of photosystem II activity and which is distinct from red/green-reversible control of chromatically adapting cyanobacteria and the red/far-red-reversible phytochrome of plants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16143-16147
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number23
StatePublished - Jun 10 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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