Chlorosomes, the main antenna complexes of green photosynthetic bacteria, were isolated from null mutants of Chlorobium tepidum, each of which lacked one enzyme involved in the biosynthesis of carotenoids. The effects of the altered carotenoid composition on the structure of the chlorosomes were studied by means of x-ray scattering and electron cryomicroscopy. The chlorosomes from each mutant strain exhibited a lamellar arrangement of the bacteriochlorophyll c aggregates, which are the major constituents of the chlorosome interior. However, the carotenoid content and composition had a pronounced effect on chlorosome biogenesis and structure. The results indicate that carotenoids with a sufficiently long conjugated system are important for the biogenesis of the chlorosome baseplate. Defects in the baseplate structure affected the shape of the chlorosomes and were correlated with differences in the arrangement of lamellae and spacing between the lamellar planes of bacteriochlorophyll aggregates. In addition, comparisons among the various mutants enabled refinement of the assignments of the x-ray scattering peaks. While the main scattering peaks come from the lamellar structure of bacteriochlorophyll c aggregates, some minor peaks may originate from the paracrystalline arrangement of CsmA in the baseplate.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes