Behrendt L, Brejnrod A, Schliep M, Sørensen SJ, Larkum AW, Kühl M
ISME J 9 (9) 2108-2111 [2015-09-00; online 2015-02-10]
Chlorophyll (Chl) f is the most recently discovered chlorophyll and has only been found in cyanobacteria from wet environments. Although its structure and biophysical properties are resolved, the importance of Chl f as an accessory pigment in photosynthesis remains unresolved. We found Chl f in a cyanobacterium enriched from a cavernous environment and report the first example of Chl f-supported oxygenic photosynthesis in cyanobacteria from such habitats. Pigment extraction, hyperspectral microscopy and transmission electron microscopy demonstrated the presence of Chl a and f in unicellular cyanobacteria found in enrichment cultures. Amplicon sequencing indicated that all oxygenic phototrophs were related to KC1, a Chl f-containing cyanobacterium previously isolated from an aquatic environment. Microsensor measurements on aggregates demonstrated oxygenic photosynthesis at 742 nm and less efficient photosynthesis under 768- and 777-nm light probably because of diminished overlap with the absorption spectrum of Chl f and other far-red absorbing pigments. Our findings suggest the importance of Chl f-containing cyanobacteria in terrestrial habitats.