International Microbiology, Vol 9, No 1 (2006)

Immuno-electron microscopic quantification of the fucoxanthin chlorophyll a/c binding polypeptides Fcp2, Fcp4, and Fcp6 of Cyclotella cryptica grown under low- and high-light intensities

Frank Becker, Erhard Rhiel


The diatom Cyclotella cryptica was grown under low- and highintensity white light of 50 and 500 μmol photons m–2 s–1, respectively. Western immunoblotting showed that the diatom adapted its light-harvesting apparatus, giving rise to different amounts of distinct fucoxanthin chlorophyll a/c binding polypeptides (Fcp). The amount of Fcp2 was approximately two-fold higher under low-light than under high-light conditions, whereas the amount of Fcp6 increased four- to five-fold under high-light conditions. For Fcp4, no significant differences were detected in response to either light regime. Cells of Cyclotella grown under high- and low-light intensity were subjected to immunoelectron microscopy. Quantification of the gold label, expressed as gold particles per μm2, confirmed the results obtained by Western immunoblotting. Exposure to low light resulted in the detection of approximately six times more Fcp2-bound gold particles per μm2 in thylakoid membranes, whereas in cells grown under high light the number of Fcp6- bound gold particles increased ten-fold. For Fcp4, similar amounts of gold particles per μm2 were counted under the two light regimes. These immunocytochemical results confirmed molecular data derived from phylogenetic analyses of the sequences of genes encoding fucoxanthin chlorophyll a/c binding polypeptides (fcp genes) and from measurements of steady-state fcp mRNA concentrations. The results show that Fcp2 and Fcp6 accumulate under low- and high-light intensity, respectively, whereas Fcp4 seems to be constitutively synthesized. [Int Microbiol 2006; 9(1):29-36]

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