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Haloarchaea utilize various microbial rhodopsins to harvest light energy or to mediate phototaxis in search of optimal environmental niches. To date, only the red light-sensing sensory rhodopsin I (SRI) and the blue light-sensing sensory rhodopsin II (SRII) have been shown to mediate positive and negative phototaxis, respectively. In this work, we demonstrated that a blue-green light-sensing (504 nm) sensory rhodopsin from Haloarcula marismortui, SRM, attenuated both positive and negative phototaxis through its sensing region. The H. marismortui genome encodes three sensory rhodopsins: SRI, SRII and SRM. Using spectroscopic assays, we first demonstrated the interaction between SRM and its cognate transducer, HtrM. We then transformed an SRM-HtrM fusion protein into Halobacterium salinarum, which contains only SRI and SRII, and observed that SRM-HtrM fusion protein decreased both positive and negative phototaxis of H. salinarum. Together, our results suggested a novel phototaxis signalling system in H. marismortui comprised of three sensory rhodopsins in which the phototactic response of SRI and SRII were attenuated by SRM.


Jheng-Liang Chen, Yu-Cheng Lin, Hsu-Yuan Fu, Chii-Shen Yang. The Blue-Green Sensory Rhodopsin SRM from Haloarcula marismortui Attenuates Both Phototactic Responses Mediated by Sensory Rhodopsin I and II in Halobacterium salinarum. Scientific reports. 2019 Apr 05;9(1):5672

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PMID: 30952934

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