A Cyanobacteria Enriched Layer of Shark Bay Stromatolites Reveals a New Acaryochloris Strain Living in Near Infrared Light.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Microorganisms, 2022, 10, (5), pp. 1035
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The genus Acaryochloris is unique among phototrophic organisms due to the dominance of chlorophyll d in its photosynthetic reaction centres and light-harvesting proteins. This allows Acaryochloris to capture light energy for photosynthesis over an extended spectrum of up to ~760 nm in the near infra-red (NIR) spectrum. Acaryochloris sp. has been reported in a variety of ecological niches, ranging from polar to tropical shallow aquatic sites. Here, we report a new Acarychloris strain isolated from an NIR-enriched stratified microbial layer 4-6 mm under the surface of stromatolite mats located in the Hamelin Pool of Shark Bay, Western Australia. Pigment analysis by spectrometry/fluorometry, flow cytometry and spectral confocal microscopy identifies unique patterns in pigment content that likely reflect niche adaption. For example, unlike the original A. marina species (type strain MBIC11017), this new strain, Acarychloris LARK001, shows little change in the chlorophyll d/a ratio in response to changes in light wavelength, displays a different Fv/Fm response and lacks detectable levels of phycocyanin. Indeed, 16S rRNA analysis supports the identity of the A. marina LARK001 strain as close to but distinct from from the A. marina HICR111A strain first isolated from Heron Island and previously found on the Great Barrier Reef under coral rubble on the reef flat. Taken together, A. marina LARK001 is a new cyanobacterial strain adapted to the stromatolite mats in Shark Bay.
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