Acclimation of the photosynthetic response of Chromatium vinosum to light-limiting conditions

Olga Sánchez, Hans Van Gemerden, Jordi Mas

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The photosynthetic response of the purple sulfur bacterium Chromatium vinosum DSM 185 to different degrees of illumination was analyzed. The microorganism was grown in continuous culture, and samples were taken from the effluent of the culture and incubated at different irradiances to determine the specific rate of sulfur oxidation as a measure of the photosynthetic activity of the organism. The activities obtained were plotted as a function of the specific rate of light uptake, and for each set of data a photosynthesis equation was fitted, which allowed the estimation of P(max) (photosynthetic capacity), q(k) (the threshold irradiance for light limitation), and m (maintenance coefficient). The results indicated that cells grown under light limitation are able to achieve higher photosynthetic activities than cells grown under light saturation. The photosynthetic capacity (P(max)) remained constant under all the conditions of illumination tested, while the maintenance expenses (m) were higher under light limitation. The parameter q(k), on the contrary, decreased considerably at limiting irradiances.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-410
JournalArchives of Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - 26 Nov 1998


  • Light limitation
  • Photosynthetic response
  • Purple sulfur bacteria


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