Biosynthesis of chlorophylls and bacteriochlorophylls in green bacteria

Jennifer L. Thweatt, Daniel P. Canniffe, Donald A. Bryant

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

17 Scopus citations


Green bacteria include chlorophototrophic members of the phyla Chlorobi, Chloroflexi, and Acidobacteria and are defined by their use of chlorosomes for light-harvesting. Despite their shared use of chlorosomes as light-harvesting antenna and their chlorophototrophic metabolic mode, these organisms exhibit a surprising diversity in their ecological and physiological characteristics. Chlorosomes contain thousands of unique chlorin molecules known as bacteriochlorophyll (BChl) c, d, e, or f that are arranged in supramolecular aggregates. Additionally, all green bacteria can synthesize BChl a, the green members of the phyla Chlorobi and Acidobacteria can synthesize chlorophyll (Chl) a, and Chloracidobacterium thermophilum uniquely synthesizes Zn-BChl a'. This review describes the biosynthetic pathways leading to the production of Chls and BChls in green bacteria. Special attention is paid to how the physiological diversity of green bacteria affects the particular combinations of biosynthetic enzymes that are used in these distantly related, chlorosome-producing bacteria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Botanical Research
EditorsBernhard Grimm
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages55
ISBN (Print)9780081027523
StatePublished - 2019

Publication series

NameAdvances in Botanical Research
ISSN (Print)0065-2296

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Plant Science


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