Alternative oxidase and plastoquinol terminal oxidase in marine prokaryotes of the Sargasso Sea

Gene. 2005 Apr 11;349:15-24. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2004.12.049.


Alternative oxidase (AOX) represents a non-energy conserving branch in mitochondrial electron transport while plastoquinol terminal oxidase (PTOX) represents a potential branch in photosynthetic electron transport. Using a metagenomics dataset, we have uncovered numerous and diverse AOX and PTOX genes from the Sargasso Sea. Sequence similarity, synteny and phylogenetic analyses indicate that the large majority of these genes are from prokaryotes. AOX appears to be widely distributed among marine Eubacteria while PTOX is widespread among strains of cyanobacteria closely related to the high-light adapted Prochlorococcus marinus MED4, as well as Synechococcus. The wide distribution of AOX and PTOX in marine prokaryotes may have important implications for productivity in the world's oceans.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Motifs
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Bacteria / enzymology
  • Conserved Sequence
  • Cyanobacteria / enzymology
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oceans and Seas
  • Oxidoreductases / analysis*
  • Phylogeny
  • Plant Proteins
  • Plastoquinone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Plastoquinone / analysis*
  • Prokaryotic Cells / enzymology*
  • Seawater / microbiology*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Synechococcus / enzymology
  • Synteny


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • Plant Proteins
  • plastoquinol
  • Oxidoreductases
  • alternative oxidase
  • Plastoquinone