Proteorhodopsin. Encyclopedia of Life Sciences (ELS)

S. Miyake, U. Stingl
John Wiley & Sons, Ltd: Chichester, (2011)

Proteorhodopsin. Encyclopedia of Life Sciences (ELS)


Protein Proteorhodopsin


​The membrane‐bound protein Proteorhodopsin (PR) is a simple light‐dependent proton pump. The single gene that encodes PR was detected in 2000 on genomic fragments of heterotrophic marine bacteria. Over the following years, researchers realised that the majority of bacteria in the photic zone (where light is present) of nearly all oceanic water bodies possess this protein. The high abundance of closely related PR genes in only distantly related bacteria is very likely due to frequent lateral gene transfer. Experiments with PR‐containing pure cultures did not show uniform results on improved growth upon illumination, indicating a functional diversity that probably depends on environmental nutrient conditions. In most cases, PR will help bacteria to produce additional energy without the need of oxidising organic carbon. This energy can be used to grow better, move faster or survive longer during starvation periods.


DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0022837


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