1887

Abstract

Akinetes are resting spore-like cells formed by some heterocyst-forming filamentous cyanobacteria for surviving long periods of unfavourable conditions. We studied the development of akinetes in two model strains of cyanobacterial cell differentiation, the planktonic freshwater ATCC 29413 and the terrestrial or symbiotic ATCC 29133, in response to low light and phosphate starvation. The best trigger of akinete differentiation of was low light; that of was phosphate starvation. Light and electron microscopy revealed that akinetes of both species differed from vegetative cells by their larger size, different cell morphology and large number of intracellular granules. akinetes had a multilayer envelope; those of had a simpler envelope. During akinete development of , the amount of the storage compounds cyanophycin and glycogen increased transiently, whereas in , cyanophycin and lipid droplets increased transiently. Photosynthesis and respiration decreased during akinete differentiation in both species, and remained at a low level in mature akinetes. The clear differences in the metabolic and morphological adaptations of akinetes of the two species could be related to their different lifestyles. The results pave the way for genetic and functional studies of akinete differentiation in these species.

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2016-02-01
2022-08-14
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