Chlamydomonas sp. UWO 241 exhibits high cyclic electron flow and rewired metabolism under high salinity

TitleChlamydomonas sp. UWO 241 exhibits high cyclic electron flow and rewired metabolism under high salinity
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsKalra, I, Wang, X, Cvetkovska, M, Jeong, J, McHargue, W, Zhang, R, H√ľner, N, Yuan, JS, Morgan-Kiss, RM
JournalPlant Physiology
Date Published03/2020

The Antarctic green alga Chlamydomonas sp. UWO 241 (UWO 241) is adapted to permanent low temperatures, hypersalinity, and extreme shade. one of the most striking phenotypes of UWO 241 is an altered photosystem I (PSI) organization and constitutive PSI cyclic electron flow (CEF). To date, little attention has been paid to CEF during long-term stress acclimation, and the consequences of sustained CEF in UWO 241 are not known. In this study, we combined photobiology, proteomics, and metabolomics to understand the underlying role of sustained CEF in high salinity stress acclimation. High salt-grown UWO 241 exhibited increased thylakoid proton motive flux and an increased capacity for non-photochemical quenching. Under high salt, a significant proportion of the upregulated enzymes were associated with the Calvin Benson Bassham Cycle, carbon storage metabolism, and protein translation. Two key enzymes of the Shikimate pathway, DAHP synthase and chorismate synthase, were also upregulated, as well as indole-3-glycerol phosphate synthase, an enzyme involved in the biosynthesis of L-tryptophan and indole acetic acid. In addition, several compatible solutes (glycerol, proline, and sucrose) accumulated to high levels in high salt-grown UWO 241 cultures. We suggest that UWO 241 maintains constitutively high CEF through the associated PSI-cytochrome b6f supercomplex to support robust growth and strong photosynthetic capacity under a constant growth regime of low temperatures and high salinity.