Photosynthetic, respiratory and extracellular electron transport pathways in cyanobacteria

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Cyanobacteria have evolved elaborate electron transport pathways to carry out photosynthesis and respiration, and to dissipate excess energy in order to limit cellular damage. Our understanding of the complexity of these systems and their role in allowing cyanobacteria to cope with varying environmental conditions is rapidly improving, but many questions remain. We summarize current knowledge of cyanobacterial electron transport pathways, including the possible roles of alternative pathways in photoprotection. We describe extracellular electron transport, which is as yet poorly understood. Biological photovoltaic devices, which measure electron output from cells, and which have been proposed as possible means of renewable energy generation, may be valuable tools in understanding cyanobacterial electron transfer pathways, and enhanced understanding of electron transfer may allow improvements in the efficiency of power output. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Organization and dynamics of bioenergetic systems in bacteria, edited by Conrad Mullineaux.




Lea-Smith, D. J., Bombelli, P., Vasudevan, R., & Howe, C. J. (2016). Photosynthetic, respiratory and extracellular electron transport pathways in cyanobacteria. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics, 1857(3), 247–255.

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