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Differences in chloroplast ultrastructure of Phaeocystis antarctica in low and high light

Differences in chloroplast ultrastructure of Phaeocystis antarctica in low and high light

ine Biology Berlin ember; 149(6): 1281-1290

Phaeocystis antarctica Karsten exhibits optical changes in pigment packaging during acclimation to drastically different light levels. Here, the three-dimensional morphological rearrangements are shown for two light conditions mimicking limiting and saturating conditions for photosynthesis. Cultures of P. antarctica were grown semi-continuously under light-limiting conditions for growth (14 [mu]mol quanta m-2 s-1) and a light-saturating condition (259 [mu]mol quanta m-2 s-1) for growth. Increased numbers of thylakoids were observed under the low light treatment. In contrast, there were less amounts of thylakoid stacking in each chloroplast under the high light treatment. Electron microscopic tomographic reconstructions illustrate the complexity of the chloroplast organelle where the thylakoids 'interact' with the pyrenoid and the chloroplast membrane. Highly complex characteristics, such as bi- and tri-furcations in the thylakoid stacks, were continuous throughout the chloroplast. Other organelles, such as the Golgi apparatus and dense vesicles that may potentially affect cellular scattering and absorption were also observed in both high and low light. These three dimensional thylakoid arrangements have profound implications for cellular photophysiology. They represent a new view of algal chloroplast structure, and provide a starting point for more accurate optical modeling studies.

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Accession: 011954002

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DOI: 10.1007/s00227-006-0321-5

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