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A chlorophyll c synthase widely co-opted by phytoplankton

Science .. 2023-10; 
Yanyou Jiang , Tianjun Cao , Yuqing Yang , Huan Zhang , Jingyu Zhang , Xiaobo Li
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Marine and terrestrial photosynthesis exhibit a schism in the accessory chlorophyll (Chl) that complements the function of Chl a: Chl b for green plants versus Chl c for most eukaryotic phytoplankton. The enzymes that mediate Chl c biosynthesis have long remained elusive. In this work, we identified the CHLC dioxygenase (Phatr3_J43737) from the marine diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum as the Chl c synthase. The chlc mutants lacked Chl c, instead accumulating its precursors, and exhibited growth defects. In vitro, recombinant CHLC protein converted these precursors into Chl c, thereby confirming its identity. Phylogenetic evidence demonstrates conserved use of CHLC across phyla but also the existence of distinct ... More