Novel Role for Phycoerythrin in a Marine Cyanobacterium, Synechococcus Strain DC2

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Science  15 Nov 1985:
Vol. 230, Issue 4727, pp. 818-820
DOI: 10.1126/science.230.4727.818


Cyanobacterial picoplankton contribute substantially to oceanic primary productivity. The colored protein phycoerythrin is the major component of their light-harvesting apparatus. It was found that in Synechococcus strain DC2 a variable proportion of the light energy absorbed by phycoerythrin is lost as autofluorescence and therefore is not passed to a photoreaction center. Phycoerythrin may serve two functionally distinct roles in this organism: as a nitrogen reserve and as a collector of quanta for photosynthesis.

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