Search tips
Search criteria 


Logo of jbacterPermissionsJournals.ASM.orgJournalJB ArticleJournal InfoAuthorsReviewers
J Bacteriol. 1983 June; 154(3): 1414–1430.
PMCID: PMC217618

Spatial differentiation in photosynthetic and non-photosynthetic membranes of Rhodopseudomonas palustris.


The cytoplasmic membrane and the photosynthetic intracytoplasmic membranes of Rhodopseudomonas palustris are spatially differentiated into regions of extremely high intramembrane-particle density (4,400 to 9,800/micron 2) and areas of lower intramembrane-particle density (2,700 to 5,900/micron 2). The high intramembrane-particle-density areas were always seen in association with photosynthetic membrane stacks. This differentiation was also seen in those areas of the cytoplasmic membrane which adhere to the underlying intracytoplasmic membranes, implying that the cytoplasmic membrane too is differentiated for photosynthesis in these regions. Changes in intramembrane-particle size distribution in response to changes in light intensity during growth were measured. We found that, as light levels were decreased from 8,500 to 100 lx, the average particle diameter in the protoplasmic face of stacked intracytoplasmic and cytoplasmic membranes increased from 8.6 to 10.3 nm. We also observed a distinct periodicity in the sizes of the intramembrane particles found in the stacked regions--7.5, 10.0, 12.5, and 15.0 nm--with the larger-size peaks becoming more pronounced as light intensity decreased. This suggests that, as light levels decrease, subunits of discrete size are being added to a core particle. A comparison of propane jet-frozen cells versus fixed, glycerinated, and then frozen cells indicated that ultrarapid freezing leads to a higher quality of fine-structure preservation than does chemical fixation followed by glycerination and conventional freezing in Freon-12 or propane. The intramembrane particles appeared to be more regular in size, lacking the deformed or jagged appearance displayed in fixed preparations.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (5.9M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Images in this article

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Branton D, Bullivant S, Gilula NB, Karnovsky MJ, Moor H, Mühlethaler K, Northcote DH, Packer L, Satir B, Satir P, et al. Freeze-etching nomenclature. Science. 1975 Oct 3;190(4209):54–56. [PubMed]
  • Cogdell RJ, Hipkins MF, MacDonald W, Truscott TG. Energy transfer between the carotenoid and the bacteriochlorophyll within the B-800-850 light-harvesting pigment-protein complex of Rhodopseudomonas sphaeroides. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1981 Jan 14;634(1):191–202. [PubMed]
  • COHEN-BAZIRE G, SISTROM WR, STANIER RY. Kinetic studies of pigment synthesis by non-sulfur purple bacteria. J Cell Physiol. 1957 Feb;49(1):25–68. [PubMed]
  • Feher G. Some chemical and physical properties of a bacterial reaction center particle and its primary photochemical reactants. Photochem Photobiol. 1971 Sep;14(3):373–387. [PubMed]
  • Firsow NN, Drews G. Differentiation of the intracytoplasmic membrane of Rhodopseudomonas palustris induced by variations of oxygen partial pressure or light intensity. Arch Microbiol. 1977 Dec 15;115(3):299–306. [PubMed]
  • Frye LD, Edidin M. The rapid intermixing of cell surface antigens after formation of mouse-human heterokaryons. J Cell Sci. 1970 Sep;7(2):319–335. [PubMed]
  • Golecki J, Drews G, Bühler R. The size and number of intramembrane particles in cells of the photosynthetic bacterium Rhodopseudomonas capsulata studied by freeze-fracture electron microscopy. Cytobiologie. 1979 Feb;18(3):381–389. [PubMed]
  • Golecki JR, Oelze J. Differences in the architecture of cytoplasmic and intracytoplasmic membranes of three chemotrophically and phototrophically grown species of the Rhodospirillaceae. J Bacteriol. 1980 Nov;144(2):781–788. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Golecki JR, Schumacher A, Drews G. The differentiation of the photosynthetic apparatus and the intracytoplasmic membrane in cells of Rhodopseudomonas capsulata upon variation of light intensity. Eur J Cell Biol. 1980 Dec;23(1):1–5. [PubMed]
  • Kyle DJ, Staehelin LA, Arntzen CJ. Lateral mobility of the light-harvesting complex in chloroplast membranes controls excitation energy distribution in higher plants. Arch Biochem Biophys. 1983 Apr 15;222(2):527–541. [PubMed]
  • McDonnel A, Staehelin LA. Adhesion between liposomes mediated by the chlorophyll a/b light-harvesting complex isolated from chloroplast membranes. J Cell Biol. 1980 Jan;84(1):40–56. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Miller KR. Structure of a bacterial photosynthetic membrane. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1979 Dec;76(12):6415–6419. [PubMed]
  • Monger TG, Parson WW. Singlet-triplet fusion in Rhodopseudomonas sphaeroides chromatophores. A probe of the organization of the photosynthetic apparatus. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1977 Jun 9;460(3):393–407. [PubMed]
  • Mullet JE, Arntzen CJ. Simulation of grana stacking in a model membrane system. Mediation by a purified light-harvesting pigment-protein complex from chloroplasts. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1980 Jan 4;589(1):100–117. [PubMed]
  • Nanninga N. The mesosome of Bacillus subtilis as affected by chemical and physical fixation. J Cell Biol. 1971 Jan;48(1):219–224. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Parks LC, Niederman RA. Membranes of Rhodopseudomonas sphaeroides. V. Identification of bacteriochlorophyll alpha-depleted cytoplasmic membrane in phototrophically grown cells. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1978 Jul 20;511(1):70–82. [PubMed]
  • Reed DW, Raveed D. Some properties of the ATPase from chromatophores of Rhodopseudomonas spheroides and its structural relationship to the bacteriochlorophyll proteins. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1972;283(1):79–91. [PubMed]
  • Sato T. A modified method for lead staining of thin sections. J Electron Microsc (Tokyo) 1968;17(2):158–159. [PubMed]
  • Scandella CJ, Devaux P, McConnell HM. Rapid lateral diffusion of phospholipids in rabbit sarcoplasmic reticulum. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1972 Aug;69(8):2056–2060. [PubMed]
  • Schumacher A, Drews G. Effects of light intensity on membrane differentiation in Rhodopseudomonas capsulata. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1979 Sep 11;547(3):417–428. [PubMed]
  • Scolnik PA, Zannoni D, Marrs BL. Spectral and functional comparisons between the carotenoids of the two antenna complexes of Rhodopseudomonas capsulata. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1980 Dec 3;593(2):230–240. [PubMed]
  • Shepherd WD, Kaplan S, Park JT. Penicillin-binding proteins of Rhodopseudomonas sphaeroides and their membrane localization. J Bacteriol. 1981 Aug;147(2):354–361. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Shiozawa JA, Welte W, Hodapp N, Drews G. Studies on the size and composition of the isolated light-harvesting B800-850 pigment-protein complex of Rhodopseudomonas capsulata. Arch Biochem Biophys. 1982 Feb;213(2):473–485. [PubMed]
  • Staehelin LA. Reversible particle movements associated with unstacking and restacking of chloroplast membranes in vitro. J Cell Biol. 1976 Oct;71(1):136–158. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Staehelin LA, Armond PA, Miller KR. Chloroplast membrane organization at the supramolecular level and its functional implications. Brookhaven Symp Biol. 1976 Jun 7;(28):278–315. [PubMed]
  • Steiner LA, Okamura MY, Lopes AD, Moskowitz E, Feher G. Characterization of reaction centers from photosynthetic bacteria. II. Amino acid composition of the reaction center protein and its subunits in Rhodopseudomonas spheroides R-26. Biochemistry. 1974 Mar 26;13(7):1403–1410. [PubMed]
  • Tauschel HD, Drews G. Thylakoidmorphogenese bei Rhodopseudomonas palustirs. Arch Mikrobiol. 1967;59(4):381–404. [PubMed]
  • Trosper TL, Benson DL, Thornber PJ. Isolation and spectral characteristics of the photochemical reaction center of Rhodopseudomonas viridis. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1977 May 11;460(2):318–330. [PubMed]
  • Valkirs GE, Feher G. Topography of reaction center subunits in the membrane of the photosynthetic bacterium, rhodopseudomonas sphaeroides. J Cell Biol. 1982 Oct;95(1):179–188. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Whittenbury R, McLee AG. Rhodopseudomonas palustris and Rh. viridis--photosynthetic budding bacteria. Arch Mikrobiol. 1967;59(1):324–334. [PubMed]
  • Woese CR, Gibson J, Fox GE. Do genealogical patterns in purple photosynthetic bacteria reflect interspecific gene transfer? Nature. 1980 Jan 10;283(5743):212–214. [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of Bacteriology are provided here courtesy of American Society for Microbiology (ASM)