Molecular phylogeny of fucoxanthin-chlorophyll a/c proteins from Chaetoceros gracilis and Lhcq/Lhcf diversity

Minoru Kumazawa, Hiroyo Nishide, Ryo Nagao, Natsuko Inoue-Kashino, Jian Ren Shen, Takeshi Nakano, Ikuo Uchiyama, Yasuhiro Kashino, Kentaro Ifuku

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Diatoms adapt to various aquatic light environments and play major roles in the global carbon cycle using their unique light-harvesting system, i.e. fucoxanthin chlorophyll a/c binding proteins (FCPs). Structural analyses of photosystem II (PSII)–FCPII and photosystem I (PSI)–FCPI complexes from the diatom Chaetoceros gracilis have revealed the localization and interactions of many FCPs; however, the entire set of FCPs has not been characterized. Here, we identify 46 FCPs in the newly assembled genome and transcriptome of C. gracilis. Phylogenetic analyses suggest that these FCPs can be classified into five subfamilies: Lhcr, Lhcf, Lhcx, Lhcz, and the novel Lhcq, in addition to a distinct type of Lhcr, CgLhcr9. The FCPs in Lhcr, including CgLhcr9 and some Lhcqs, have orthologous proteins in other diatoms, particularly those found in the PSI–FCPI structure. By contrast, the Lhcf subfamily, some of which were found in the PSII–FCPII complex, seems to be diversified in each diatom species, and the number of Lhcqs differs among species, indicating that their diversification may contribute to species-specific adaptations to light. Further phylogenetic analyses of FCPs/light-harvesting complex (LHC) proteins using genome data and assembled transcriptomes of other diatoms and microalgae in public databases suggest that our proposed classification of FCPs is common among various red-lineage algae derived from secondary endosymbiosis of red algae, including Haptophyta. These results provide insights into the loss and gain of FCP/LHC subfamilies during the evolutionary history of the red algal lineage.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13598
JournalPhysiologia Plantarum
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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