A newly isolated Chlorella sp. from desert sand crusts exhibits a unique resistance to excess light intensity

Haim Treves, Hagai Raanan, Omri M. Finkel, Simon M. Berkowicz, Nir Keren, Yoram Shotland, Aaron Kaplan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations

Abstract

We recently isolated a small green alga from a biological sand crust (BSC) in the NW Negev, Israel. Based on its 18S rRNA and rbcL genes, it is a close relative of Chlorella sorokiniana and of certain strains of C. vulgaris and C. variabilis, but differs substantially in many aspects from C. sorokiniana. Because the classification of Chlorellales is still not resolved, we designated this species as C. ohadii (Trebouxiophyceae) in honor of Professor Itzhak Ohad. Under controlled laboratory conditions, C. ohadii showed marked structural and photosynthetic performance changes, depending on the carbon source used during growth, as well as remarkable resistance to photoinhibition. CO2-dependent O2 evolution was not affected even when exposed to a light intensity of 3500 μmole photons m-2 s-1, over 1.5 times the maximal intensity reached at the BSC surface, whereas the variable fluorescence declined sharply. We briefly discuss the use of fluorescence to assess photosynthetic rate and the implications of this finding for the assessment of global BSCs activity.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)373-380
Number of pages8
JournalFEMS Microbiology Ecology
Volume86
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2013

Keywords

  • CO concentrating mechanism
  • Light intensity
  • Photosynthesis
  • Productivity

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