In this chapter, we describe the mechanisms of acido-tolerance in an acidophilic- and thermophilic red alga, Cyanidium caldarium. In spite of the extremely acidic environments it inhabits, the intracellular pH of Cyanidium cells is kept neutral by pumping out the protons previously leaked into the cells according to the steep pH gradient. The H+ pump is driven by the plasma membrane ATPase, utilizing intracellular ATP produced by both oxidative phosphorylation and cyclic photophosphorylation via photosystem I. We also describe the characteristics and function of the two photosystems, Photosystem I (PSI) and II (PSII), in Cyanidium caldarium in comparison with those of cyanobacteria, other eukaryotic algae, and higher plants, based on the crystal structures of the two complexes reported so far.
Red Algae in the Genomic Age
Research Center of New Functional Materials for Energy Production, Storage, and Transport