Environmental control of growth and BChl a expression in an aerobic anoxygenic phototrophic bacterium, Erythrobacter longus (DSMZ6997)
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Aerobic anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria ( AAPB), which form a unique functional group of heterotrophic bacteria, have the ability to utilize light energy. The impact of carbon source and light intensity on the growth and bacteriochlorophyll a (BChl a) expression of a typical strain of AAPB, Erythrobacter longus strain DSMZ6997 was examined during batch culture and continuous culture. The results showed that the expression of BChl a in DSMZ6997 was regulated by both carbon-source and light conditions, and was stimulated by low availability of carbon but inhibited by light to a certain extent at 300 lx and completely at 1 500 lx. In contrast, cell abundance, and even cell size of this strain, was substantially enhanced under light/dark cycle cultivation conditions over dark conditions, indicating the promotion of growth by light. These results led to the conclusion that utilization of light through BChl a helps AAPB to survive under carbon stress, while light at high intensity is harmful to the synthesis of BChl a in AAPB.