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Received May 20, 2019; Revised July 5, 2019; Accepted July 7, 2019
Genomes of photoautotrophic organisms containing type I photosynthetic reaction center were searched for the rnf genes encoding Na+-translocating ferredoxin:NAD+ oxidoreductase (RNF). These genes were absent in heliobacteria, cyanobacteria, algae, and plants; however, genomes of many green sulfur bacteria (especially marine ones) were found to contain the full rnf operon. Analysis of RNA isolated from the marine green sulfur bacterium Chlorobium phaeovibrioides revealed a high level of rnf expression. It was found that the activity of Na+-dependent flavodoxin:NAD+ oxidoreductase detected in the membrane fraction of Chl. phaeovibrioides was absent in the membrane fraction of the freshwater green sulfur bacterium Chlorobaculum limnaeum, which is closely related to Chl. phaeovibrioides but whose genome lacks the rnf genes. Illumination of the membrane fraction of Chl. phaeovibrioides but not of Cba. limnaeum resulted in the light-induced NAD+ reduction. Based on the obtained data, we concluded that in some green sulfur bacteria, RNF may be involved in the NADH formation that should increase the efficiency of light energy conservation in these microorganisms and can serve as the first example of the use of Na+ energetics in photosynthetic electron transport chains.
KEY WORDS: Na+-translocating ferredoxin:NAD+ oxidoreductase, transmembrane sodium transport, green sulfur bacteria, non-cyclic photosynthetic electron transport chain