Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10553/57278
Title: Microbial rhodopsins are major contributors to the solar energy captured in the sea
Authors: Gómez-Consarnau, Laura
Raven, John A.
Levine, Naomi M.
Cutter, Lynda S.
Wang, Deli
Seegers, Brian
Arístegui, Javier 
Fuhrman, Jed A.
Gasol, Josep M.
Sañudo-Wilhelmy, Sergio A.
UNESCO Clasification: 251001 Oceanografía biológica
Keywords: Aerobic Anoxygenic Phototrophs
Proteorhodopsin
Bacteria
Light
Growth, et al
Issue Date: 2019
Journal: Science advances 
Abstract: All known phototrophic metabolisms on Earth rely on one of three categories of energy-converting pigments: chlorophyll-a (rarely -d), bacteriochlorophyll-a (rarely -b), and retinal, which is the chromophore in rhodopsins. While the significance of chlorophylls in solar energy capture has been studied for decades, the contribution of retinal-based phototrophy to this process remains largely unexplored. We report the first vertical distributions of the three energy-converting pigments measured along a contrasting nutrient gradient through the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The highest rhodopsin concentrations were observed above the deep chlorophyll-a maxima, and their geographical distribution tended to be inversely related to that of chlorophyll-a. We further show that proton-pumping proteorhodopsins potentially absorb as much light energy as chlorophyll-a-based phototrophy and that this energy is sufficient to sustain bacterial basal metabolism. This suggests that proteorhodopsins are a major energy-transducing mechanism to harvest solar energy in the surface ocean.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10553/57278
ISSN: 2375-2548
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw8855
Source: Science advances, v. 5, p. eaaw8855
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