Loss of cytochrome c M stimulates cyanobacterial heterotrophic growth in the dark

Yuto Hiraide, Kenshiro Oshima, Takatomo Fujisawa, Kazuma Uesaka, Yuu Hirose, Ryoma Tsujimoto, Haruki Yamamoto, Shinobu Okamoto, Yasukazu Nakamura, Kazuki Terauchi, Tatsuo Omata, Kunio Ihara, Masahira Hattori, Yuichi Fujita*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Although cyanobacteria are photoautotrophs, they have the capability for heterotrophic metabolism that enables them to survive in their natural habitat. However, cyanobacterial species that grow heterotrophically in the dark are rare. It remains largely unknown how cyanobacteria regulate heterotrophic activity. The cyanobacterium Leptolyngbya boryana grows heterotrophically with glucose in the dark. A dark-adapted variant dg5 isolated from the wild type (WT) exhibits enhanced heterotrophic growth in the dark. We sequenced the genomes of dg5 and the WT to identify the mutation(s) of dg5. The WT genome consists of a circular chromosome (6,176,364 bp), a circular plasmid pLBA (77,793 bp) and two linear plasmids pLBX (504,942 bp) and pLBY (44,369 bp). Genome comparison revealed three mutation sites. Phenotype analysis of mutants isolated from the WT by introducing these mutations individually revealed that the relevant mutation is a single adenine insertion causing a frameshift of cytM encoding Cyt c M. The respiratory oxygen consumption of the cytM-lacking mutant grown in the dark was significantly higher than that of the WT. We isolated a cytM-lacking mutant, "cytM, from another cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803, and "cytM grew in the dark with a doubling time of 33 h in contrast to no growth of the WT. The respiratory oxygen consumption of "cytM grown in the dark was about 2-fold higher than that of the WT. These results suggest a suppressive role(s) for Cyt c M in regulation of heterotrophic activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334-345
Number of pages12
JournalPlant and Cell Physiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Feb 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Cyanobacteria
  • cytM
  • Cytochrome c M
  • Heterotrophic growth
  • Leptolyngbya boryana
  • Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Loss of cytochrome c M stimulates cyanobacterial heterotrophic growth in the dark'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this