The time course of photoinactivation of photosystem II in leaves revisited.

College of Animal Science & Technology, North-West Agriculture and Forestry University, Yangling, 712100, Shaanxi, China.
Photosynthesis Research (Impact Factor: 3.19). 05/2012; 113(1-3):157-64. DOI: 10.1007/s11120-012-9743-8
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Since photosystem II (PS II) performs the demanding function of water oxidation using light energy, it is susceptible to photoinactivation during photosynthesis. The time course of photoinactivation of PS II yields useful information about the process. Depending on how PS II function is assayed, however, the time course seems to differ. Here, we revisit this problem by using two additional assays: (1) the quantum yield of oxygen evolution in limiting, continuous light and (2) the flash-induced cumulative delivery of PS II electrons to the oxidized primary donor (P700(+)) in PS I measured as a 'P700 kinetics area'. The P700 kinetics area is based on the fact that the two photosystems function in series: when P700 is completely photo-oxidized by a flash added to continuous far-red light, electrons delivered from PS II to PS I by the flash tend to re-reduce P700(+) transiently to an extent depending on the PS II functionality, while the far-red light photo-oxidizes P700 back to the steady-state concentration. The quantum yield of oxygen evolution in limiting, continuous light indeed decreased in a way that deviated from a single-negative exponential. However, measurement of the quantum yield of oxygen in limiting light may be complicated by changes in mitochondrial respiration between darkness and limiting light. Similarly, an assay based on chlorophyll fluorescence may be complicated by the varying depth in leaf tissue from which the signal is detected after progressive photoinactivation of PS II. On the other hand, the P700 kinetics area appears to be a reasonable assay, which is a measure of functional PS II in the whole leaf tissue and independent of changes in mitochondrial respiration. The P700 kinetics area decreased in a single-negative exponential fashion during progressive photoinactivation of PS II in a number of plant species, at least at functional PS II contents ≥6 % of the initial value, in agreement with the conclusion of Sarvikas et al. (Photosynth Res 103:7-17, 2010). That is, the single-negative-exponential time course does not provide evidence for photoprotection of functional PS II complexes by photoinactivated, connected neighbours.

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