Cyanothece sp. PCC 8802

Cyanobacteria are photosynthetic prokaryotes with important roles in diverse aqueous environments. Many cyanobacteria can also fix nitrogen, a process biochemically incompatible with oxygenic photosynthesis. We are interested in the strategies employed by unicellular nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria to accommodate these processes, which the analysis of gene structure and regulation can help elucidate.

Cyanothece sp. PCC 8802 is a unicellular non-heterocystous cyanobacterium belonging to the order of Chroococcales. Cyanothece 8802 cells, 4-5 ?m in length, were isolated from rice fields in Taiwan. Cyanothece 8802, like many cyanobacterial strains, can grow as autotrophs with CO2 as carbon source. However, its optimum growth in the laboratory requires addition of an inorganic carbon source such as bicarbonate. Interest in Cyanothece 8802 and related Cyanothece strains lies in their ability to fix CO2 as well as N2. The genome information of Cyanothece 8802 will provide information on the global regulation and temporal separation of photosynthesis and nitrogen fixation.