Morphogenes bolA and mreB mediate the photoregulation of cellular morphology during complementary chromatic acclimation in Fremyella diplosiphon

Mol Microbiol. 2014 Jul;93(1):167-82. doi: 10.1111/mmi.12649. Epub 2014 May 29.


Photoregulation of pigmentation during complementary chromatic acclimation (CCA) is well studied in Fremyella diplosiphon; however, mechanistic insights into the CCA-associated morphological changes are still emerging. F. diplosiphon cells are rectangular under green light (GL), whereas cells are smaller and spherical under red light (RL). Here, we investigate the role of morphogenes bolA and mreB during CCA using gene expression and gene function analyses. The F. diplosiphon bolA gene is essential as its complete removal from the genome was unsuccessful. Depletion of bolA resulted in slow growth, morphological defects and the accumulation of high levels of reactive oxygen species in a partially segregated ΔbolA strain. Higher expression of bolA was observed under RL and was correlated with lower expression of mreB and mreC genes in wild type. In a ΔrcaE strain that lacks the red-/green-responsive RcaE photoreceptor, the expression of bolA and mre genes was altered under both RL and GL. Observed gene expression relationships suggest that mreB and mreC expression is controlled by RcaE-dependent photoregulation of bolA expression. Expression of F. diplosiphon bolA and mreB homologues in Escherichia coli demonstrated functional conservation of the encoded proteins. Together, these studies establish roles for bolA and mreB in RcaE-dependent regulation of cellular morphology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acclimatization*
  • Bacterial Proteins / chemistry
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics*
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cyanobacteria / cytology
  • Cyanobacteria / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
  • Genes, Essential
  • Genome, Bacterial
  • Light
  • Models, Molecular
  • Pigmentation
  • Protein Structure, Secondary


  • Bacterial Proteins