Isolation and characterization of mutants defective in the localization of LCIB, an essential factor for the carbon-concentrating mechanism in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

Photosynth Res. 2014 Sep;121(2-3):193-200. doi: 10.1007/s11120-013-9963-6. Epub 2014 Jan 3.


The unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii acclimates to low-CO2 (LC) conditions by actively transporting inorganic carbon (Ci) into the cell, resulting in an increase in photosynthetic efficiency. This mechanism is called the carbon-concentrating mechanism (CCM), and soluble protein LCIB is essential for the CCM. LCIB is localized in the vicinity of pyrenoid, a prominent structure in the chloroplast, under LC conditions in the light. In contrast, in the dark or in high-CO2 conditions, where the CCM is inactive, LCIB diffuses away from the pyrenoid. Although the functional importance of LCIB for the CCM has been shown, the significance and mechanism of the change in suborganellar localization of LCIB remain to be elucidated. In this study, we screened 13,000 DNA-tagged mutants and isolated twelve aberrant LCIB localization (abl) mutants under LC conditions. abl-1 and abl-3 with dispersed and speckled localization of LCIB in the chloroplast showed significant decreases in Ci affinity, Ci accumulation, and CO2 fixation. Ten abl mutants (abl-1, abl-3, abl-4, abl-5, abl-6, abl-7, abl-8, abl-9, abl-11, and abl-12) showed not only aberrant LCIB localization but also reduced pyrenoid sizes. Moreover, three abl mutants (abl-10, abl-11, and abl-12) showed the increased numbers of pyrenoids per cell. These results suggested that the specific LCIB localization could be related to pyrenoid development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Carbon / metabolism*
  • Carbon Dioxide / metabolism
  • Chlamydomonas reinhardtii / genetics
  • Chlamydomonas reinhardtii / metabolism*


  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Carbon