Major colour patterns of reef-building corals are due to a family of GFP-like proteins

Dove, S. G., Hoegh-Guldberg, O. and Ranganathan, S. (2001) Major colour patterns of reef-building corals are due to a family of GFP-like proteins. Coral Reefs, 19 3: 197-204. doi:10.1007/PL00006956

Author Dove, S. G.
Hoegh-Guldberg, O.
Ranganathan, S.
Title Major colour patterns of reef-building corals are due to a family of GFP-like proteins
Journal name Coral Reefs   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0722-4028
Publication date 2001-01-01
Year available 2001
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/PL00006956
Open Access Status
Volume 19
Issue 3
Start page 197
End page 204
Total pages 8
Editor R. E. Dodge
Place of publication New York
Publisher Springer-Verlag
Language eng
Subject C1
270199 Biochemistry and Cell Biology not elsewhere classified
270599 Zoology not elsewhere classified
270604 Comparative Physiology
770300 Marine Environment
780105 Biological sciences
Abstract Reef-building corals are renowned for their brilliant colours yet the biochemical basis for the pigmentation of corals is unknown. Here, we show that these colours are due to a family of GFP-like proteins that fluoresce under ultraviolet (UV) or visible light. Pigments from ten coral species were almost identical to pocilloporin (Dove et al. 1995) being dimers or trimers with approximately 28-kDa subunits. Degenerative primers made to common N-terminal sequences yielded a complete sequence from reef-building coral cDNA, which had 19.6% amino acid identity with green fluorescent protein (GFP). Molecular modelling revealed a 'beta -can' structure, like GFP, with 11 beta -strands and a completely solvent-inaccessible fluorophore composed of the modified residues Gln-61, Tyr-62 and Gly-63. The molecular properties of pocilloporins indicate a range of functions from the conversion of high-intensity UV radiation into photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) that can be regulated by the dinoflagellate peridinin-chlorophyll-protein (PCP) complex, to the shielding of the Soret and Q(x) bands of chlorophyll a and c from scattered high-intensity light. These properties of pocilloporin support its potential role in protecting the photosynthetic machinery of the symbiotic dinoflagellates of corals under high light conditions and in enhancing the availability of photosynthetic light under shade conditions.
Keyword Marine & Freshwater Biology
Reef-building Coral
Photosynthetic Accessory Pigments
Green Fluorescent Protein
Q-Index Code C1
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Centre for Marine Studies Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 172 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 180 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 02:25:47 EST