Oxygenic Photoautotrophic Growth Without Photosystem I

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Science  19 Jul 1996:
Vol. 273, Issue 5273, pp. 364-367
DOI: 10.1126/science.273.5273.364


Contrary to the prediction of the Z-scheme model of photosynthesis, experiments demonstrated that mutants of Chlamydomonas containing photosystem II (PSII) but lacking photosystem I (PSI) can grow photoautotrophically with O2 evolution, using atmospheric CO2 as the sole carbon source. Autotrophic photosynthesis by PSI-deficient mutants was stable both under anaerobic conditions and in air (21 percent O2) at an actinic intensity of 200 microeinsteins per square meter per second. This PSII photosynthesis, which was sufficient to support cell development and mobility, may also occur in wild-type green algae and higher plants. The mutants can survive under 2000 microeinsteins per square meter per second with air, although they have less resistance to photoinhibition.