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Carboxysomes are bacterial organelles consisting of polyhedral protein shells filled with the enzyme Ribulose-1, 5-biphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (RuBisCO) -the predominant enzyme in carbon fixation and the rate limiting enzyme in the Calvin Cycle-and a carbonic anhydrase. Carboxysomes are thought to have evolved as a consequence of the increase in oxygen concentration in the ancient atmosphere; this is because oxygen is a competing substrate to carbon dioxide in the RuBisCO reaction.
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As the case with other BMCs, the carboxysome is attracting significant attention by researchers for applications synthetic biology. The transfer of a genetic module coding for an alpha-carboxysome has been shown to produce carboxysome-like structures in E. coli. If they can be installed in plants, carboxysomes may increase photosynthetic efficiency in plants.
Carboxysomes are bacterial micro compartments that contain enzymes involved in carbon fixation. Carboxysomes are made of polyhedral protein shells about 80 to 140 nanometres in diameter. These compartments are thought to concentrate carbon dioxide to overcome the inefficiency of RuBisCo (ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase) - the predominant enzyme in carbon fixation and the rate limiting enzyme in the Calvin cycle. These organelles are found in all cyanobacteria and many chemotrophic bacteria that fix carbon dioxide.
Carboxysomes are an example of a wider group of protein micro-compartments that have dissimilar functions but similar structures, based on homology of the two shell protein families. Using electron microscopy the first carboxysomes were seen in 1956, in the cyanobacterium Phormidium uncinatum. In the early 1960s, similar polyhedral objects were observed in other cyanobacteria. These structures were named polyhedral bodies in 1961; over the next few years they were also discovered in some chemotrophic bacteria that fixed carbon dioxide. Among these are Halothiobacillus, Acidithiobacillus, Nitrobacter and Nitrococcus.
Carboxysomes are intracellular structures found in many autotrophic bacteria, including Cyanobacteria, Knallgasbacteria, Nitroso- and Nitrobacteria. They are proteinaceous structures resembling phage heads in their morphology; they contain the enzymes of carbon dioxide fixation in these organisms. It is thought that the high local concentration of the enzymes, along with the fast conversion of bicarbonate to carbon dioxide by carbonic anhydrase, allows faster and more efficient carbon dioxide fixation than is possible inside the cytoplasm. Similar structures are known to harbor the B12-containing coenzyme glycerol dehydratase, the key enzyme of glycerol fermentation to 1, 3-propanediol, in some Enterobacteriaceae, such as Salmonella.
Evaluation of emerging technologies in the carboxysomes that have potential in the market, with improved control and well-accepted newer methods. The global market for carboxysomes totalled $24 billion in 2012. The overall market is projected to be worth $25.7 billion by 2013 and $40.2 billion by 2018, a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for of 9.3% from 2013 to 2018.
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