A Rapid Method for Detecting Normal or Modified Plant and Algal Carbonic Anhydrase Activity Using

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In recent years, researchers have attempted to improve photosynthesis by introducing components from cyanobacterial and algal CO-concentrating mechanisms (CCMs) into terrestrial C plants. For these attempts to succeed, we need to understand the CCM components in more detail, especially carbonic anhydrase (CA) and bicarbonate (HCO) transporters. Heterologous complementation systems capable of detecting carbonic anhydrase activity (i.e., catalysis of the pH-dependent interconversion between CO and HCO) or active HCO transport can be of great value in the process of introducing CCM components into terrestrial C plants. In this study, we generated a CA knock-out ( or that has a high-CO-dependent phenotype (5% (/) CO in air). CAs produce HCO for anaplerotic pathways in ; therefore, the unavailability of HCO for neutral lipid biosynthesis is a limitation for the growth of in ambient levels of CO (0.04% (/) CO in air).   can be complemented for growth at ambient levels of CO by expressing a CA from human red blood cells. was also successfully complemented for growth at ambient levels of CO through the expression of CAs from and . The strain is also useful for investigating the activity of modified CAs, allowing for quick screening of modified CAs before putting them into the plants. CA activity in the complemented strains can be probed using the Wilbur-Anderson assay and by isotope exchange membrane-inlet mass spectrometry (MIMS). Other potential uses for this new based screening system are also discussed.

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Plants (Basel, Switzerland)

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