Photosynthetic Metabolism

As global temperatures climb to historic highs, the far-reaching effects of climate change have impacted agricultural nutrient availability. This has extended to low latitude oceans, where a deficit in both nitrogen and phosphorus stores has led to dramatic decreases in carbon sequestration in oceanic phytoplankton. Although Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, a freshwater model green alga, has shown drastic systems-level alterations following nitrogen deprivation, the mechanisms through which these alterations are triggered and regulated are not fully understood. This study examined the role of reversible oxidative signaling in the nitrogen stress response of C. reinhardtii. Using oxidized cysteine resin-assisted capture enrichment coupled with label-free quantitative proteomics, 7889 unique oxidized cysteine thiol identifiers were quantified, with 231 significantly changing peptides from 184 proteins following 2 h of nitrogen deprivation. These results demonstrate that the cellular response to nitrogen assimilation, photosynthesis, pigment biosynthesis, and lipid metabolism are regulated by reversible oxidation. An enhanced role of non-damaging oxidative pathways is observed throughout the photosynthetic apparatus that provides a framework for further analysis in phototrophs.