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Cyanobacteria: Life History and Ecology

Ortega‐Calvo JJ and Stal LJ (1991) Diazotrophic growth of the unicellular cyanobacterium Gloeothece sp. PCC 6909 in continuous culture. Journal of General Microbiology 137: 1789–1797.

Zehr JP (2011) Nitrogen fixation by marine cyanobacteria. Trends in Microbiology 19: 162–173.

Sherman LA, Meunier P and Colón‐López MS (1998) Diurnal rhythms in metabolism: a day in the life of a unicellular, diazotrophic cyanobacterium. Photosynthesis Research 58: 25–42.

Cyanobacteria are photosynthetic

T1 - Estimation of photosynthesis in cyanobacteria by pulse-amplitude modulation chlorophyll fluorescence

The most common cyanobacterial structures in the fossil record are the mound-producing stromatolites and related oncolites. Indeed, these fossil colonies are so common that paleobiology, micropaleontology and paleobotany cite the Pre-Cambrian and Cambrian period as an "age of stromatolites" and an "age of algae."

A clear paleontological window on cyanobacterial evolution opened about 2000 mya, revealing an already diverse biota of blue-greens. Cyanobacteria remained principal primary producers throughout the Proterozoic (2500-543 mya), in part because the redox structure of the oceans favored photoautotrophs capable of nitrogen fixation.

Introduction to the Cyanobacteria - UCMP

Stewart WDP (1980) Some aspects of structure and function in N2‐fixing cyanobacteria. Annual Review of Microbiology 34: 497–536.

AB - Cyanobacteria are photosynthetic prokaryotes and widely used for photosynthetic research as model organisms. Partly due to their prokaryotic nature, however, estimation of photosynthesis by chlorophyll fluorescence measurements is sometimes problematic in cyanobacteria. For example, plastoquinone pool is reduced in the dark-acclimated samples in many cyanobacterial species so that conventional protocol developed for land plants cannot be directly applied for cyanobacteria. Even for the estimation of the simplest chlorophyll fluorescence parameter, Fv/Fm, some additional protocol such as addition of DCMU or illumination of weak blue light is necessary. In this review, those problems in the measurements of chlorophyll fluorescence in cyanobacteria are introduced, and solutions to those problems are given.

N2 - Cyanobacteria are photosynthetic prokaryotes and widely used for photosynthetic research as model organisms. Partly due to their prokaryotic nature, however, estimation of photosynthesis by chlorophyll fluorescence measurements is sometimes problematic in cyanobacteria. For example, plastoquinone pool is reduced in the dark-acclimated samples in many cyanobacterial species so that conventional protocol developed for land plants cannot be directly applied for cyanobacteria. Even for the estimation of the simplest chlorophyll fluorescence parameter, Fv/Fm, some additional protocol such as addition of DCMU or illumination of weak blue light is necessary. In this review, those problems in the measurements of chlorophyll fluorescence in cyanobacteria are introduced, and solutions to those problems are given.

Fay P (1992) Oxygen relations of nitrogen fixation in cyanobacteria. Microbiological Reviews 56: 340–373.
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How does cyanobacteria perform photosynthesis? | …

Cyanobacteria have an elaborate and highly organized system of internal membranes which function in photosynthesis. Cyanobacteria get their colour from the bluish pigment phycocyanin, which they use to capture light for photosynthesis. Photosynthesis in cyanobacteria generally uses water as an electron donor and produces oxygen as a by-product, though some may also use hydrogen sulfide as occurs among other photosynthetic bacteria. Carbon dioxide is reduced to form carbohydrates via the Calvin cycle. In most forms the photosynthetic machinery is embedded into folds of the cell membrane, called thylakoids. The large amounts of oxygen in the atmosphere are considered to have been first created by the activities of ancient cyanobacteria. Due to their ability to fix nitrogen in aerobic conditions they are often found as symbionts with a number of other groups of organisms such as fungi (lichens), corals, pteridophytes (Azolla), angiosperms (Gunnera) etc.

Cyanobacteria: The first seed of space colonization

Cyanobacteria account for 20–30% of Earth's photosynthetic productivity and convert solar energy into biomass-stored chemical energy at the rate of ~450 TW. Cyanobacteria utilize the energy of sunlight to drive photosynthesis, a process where the energy of light is used to split water molecules into oxygen, protons, and electrons. While most of the high-energy electrons derived from water are utilized by the cyanobacterial cells for their own needs, a fraction of these electrons are donated to the external environment via electrogenic activity. Cyanobacterial electrogenic activity is an important microbiological conduit of solar energy into the biosphere.

Oxygenic Photosynthesis in Cyanobacteria (PDF …

Some of these organisms contribute significantly to global ecology and the oxygen cycle. The tiny marine cyanobacterium Prochlorococcus was discovered in 1986 and accounts for more than half of the photosynthesis of the open ocean. Many cyanobacteria even display the circadian rhythms that were once thought to exist only in eukaryotic cells (see bacterial circadian rhythms).

Nitrogen Fixation in Cyanobacteria

Many cyanobacteria are able to reduce nitrogen and carbon dioxide under aerobic conditions, a fact that may be responsible for their evolutionary and ecological success. The water-oxidizing photosynthesis is accomplished by coupling the activity of photosystem (PS) II and I (Z-scheme). In anaerobic conditions, they are also able to use only PS I — cyclic photophosphorylation — with electron donors other than water (hydrogen sulfide, thiosulphate, or even molecular hydrogen) just like purple photosynthetic bacteria. Furthermore, they share an archaeal property, the ability to reduce elemental sulfur by anaerobic respiration in the dark. Their photosynthetic electron transport shares the same compartment as the components of respiratory electron transport. Their plasma membrane contains only components of the respiratory chain, while the thylakoid membrane hosts both respiratory and photosynthetic electron transport.

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