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Probing the biogenesis pathway and dynamics of thylakoid membranes

DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-23680-1 DOI Help

Authors: Tuomas Huokko (University of Liverpool) , Tao Ni (Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford) , Gregory F. Dykes (University of Liverpool) , Deborah M. Simpson (University of Liverpool) , Philip Brownridge (University of Liverpool) , Fabian D. Conradi (Queen Mary University of London) , Robert J. Beynon (University of Liverpool) , Peter J. Nixon (Imperial College London) , Conrad W. Mullineaux (Queen Mary University of London) , Peijun Zhang (Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford; Diamond Light Source) , Lu-Ning Liu (University of Liverpool; Ocean University of China)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Nature Communications , VOL 12

State: Published (Approved)
Published: June 2021
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 21004

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: How thylakoid membranes are generated to form a metabolically active membrane network and how thylakoid membranes orchestrate the insertion and localization of protein complexes for efficient electron flux remain elusive. Here, we develop a method to modulate thylakoid biogenesis in the rod-shaped cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942 by modulating light intensity during cell growth, and probe the spatial-temporal stepwise biogenesis process of thylakoid membranes in cells. Our results reveal that the plasma membrane and regularly arranged concentric thylakoid layers have no physical connections. The newly synthesized thylakoid membrane fragments emerge between the plasma membrane and pre-existing thylakoids. Photosystem I monomers appear in the thylakoid membranes earlier than other mature photosystem assemblies, followed by generation of Photosystem I trimers and Photosystem II complexes. Redistribution of photosynthetic complexes during thylakoid biogenesis ensures establishment of the spatial organization of the functional thylakoid network. This study provides insights into the dynamic biogenesis process and maturation of the functional photosynthetic machinery.

Journal Keywords: Confocal microscopy; Cryoelectron microscopy; Membrane structure and assembly; Photosynthesis

Diamond Keywords: Photosynthesis; Cyanobacteria

Subject Areas: Biology and Bio-materials, Chemistry

Diamond Offline Facilities: Electron Bio-Imaging Centre (eBIC)
Instruments: Krios II-Titan Krios II at Diamond

Added On: 14/06/2021 10:19

Discipline Tags:

Life Sciences & Biotech Structural biology Chemistry Biochemistry

Technical Tags:

Imaging Tomography Cryo Electron Tomography (Cryo ET)