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Photochromic pigments in akinetes and pigment characteristics of akinetes in comparison with vegetative cells of Anabaena-Variabilis

  • G S Björn
  • W Braune
  • Lars Olof Björn
Publishing year: 1983
Language: English
Pages: 493-500
Publication/Series: Physiologia Plantarum
Volume: 59
Issue: 3
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Wiley Online Library

Abstract english

Since akinete germination is triggered by light and the action spectrum for this process has features in common with the spectra of the two photochromic pigments, phycochromes b and d, a search was made for the presence of these phycochromes in akinetes of the blue-green alga. Anabaena variabilis Kützing. Allophycocyanin-B was also looked for, since the action spectrum for akinete germination points to a possible participation of this pigment too. Isoelectric focusing was used for purification of the pigments. The different fractions were investigated for phycochromes b and d by measuring the absorbance difference spectra: for phycochrome b. 500 nm irradiated minus 570 nm irradiated, and for phycochrome d, 650 nm irradiated minus 610 nm irradiated. For determination of allophycocyanin-B. fourth derivative analysis of absorption spectra was made for some of the fractions from the isoelectric focusing column. Phycochrome b was also assayed for by measuring in vivo absorption difference spectra. The assays were positive for all three pigments.

The complete photosynthetic pigment systems were also studied by in vivo fluorescence measurements on both akinetes and vegetative cells of Anabaena variabilis. Fluorescence emission and excitation spectra at selected emission wavelengths were measured at room temperature and liquid nitrogen temperature. The energy transfer from phycoerythrocyanin to phycocyanin is very efficient under all conditions, as is the energy transfer from phycocyanin to allophycocyanin at room temperature. At low temperature, however, phycocyanin is partly decoupled from allophycocyanin, particularly in the akinetes; the energy transfer from allophycocyanin to chlorophyll a is less efficient at low temperature in both types of cells, but especially in akinetes. Delayed light emission was measured for both types of cells and found to be very weak in akinetes compared to vegetative cells. From this study it would seem that akinetes lack an active photosystem II, although the 691 nm peak in the 570 nm excited low temperature fluorescence emission spectrum proves the presence of photosystem II chlorophyll, and also its energetic connection to the phycobilisomes.


  • Biological Sciences


  • ISSN: 0031-9317
Lars Olof Björn
E-mail: lars_olof [dot] bjorn [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Professor emeritus

Molecular Cell Biology

+46 46 222 72 53