Photoproduction of hydrogen by sulfur-deprived C. reinhardtii mutants with impaired Photosystem II photochemical activity

Valeria V. Makarova, Sergey Kosourov, Tatiana E. Krendeleva, Boris K. Semin, Galina P. Kukarskikh, Andrei B. Rubin, Richard T. Sayre, Maria L. Ghirardi, Michael Seibert

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60 Scopus Citations


Photoproduction of H2 was examined in a series of sulfur-deprived Chlamydomonas reinhardtii D1-R323 mutants with progressively impaired PSII photochemical activity. In the R323H, R323D, and R323E D1 mutants, replacement of arginine affects photosystem II (PSII) function, as demonstrated by progressive decreases in O2-evolving activity and loss of PSII photochemical activity. Significant changes in PSII activity were found when the arginine residue was replaced by negatively charged amino acid residues (R323D and R323E). However, the R323H (positively charged or neutral, depending on the ambient pH) mutant had minimal changes in PSII activity. The R323H, R323D, and R323E mutants and the pseudo-wild-type (pWt) with restored PSII function were used to study the effects of sulfur deprivation on H2-production activity. All of these mutants exhibited significant changes in the normal parameters associated with the H2-photoproduction process, such as a shorter aerobic phase, lower accumulation of starch, a prolonged anaerobic phase observed before the onset of H2-production, a shorter duration of H2-production, lower H2 yields compared to the pWt control, and slightly higher production of dark fermentation products such as acetate and formate. The more compromised the PSII photochemical activity, the more dramatic was the effect of sulfur deprivation on the H2- production process, which depends both on the presence of residual PSII activity and the amount of stored starch.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)79-89
Number of pages11
JournalPhotosynthesis Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2007

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-270-41147


  • Algae
  • Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
  • D1-Arg323
  • Fermentation products
  • H Photoproduction
  • Photosystem II
  • Site-directed mutagenesis
  • Starch
  • Sulfur deprivation


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