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Plant Physiol. 1994 Feb;104(2):563-567.

The Unsaturation of Membrane Lipids Stabilizes Photosynthesis against Heat Stress.

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  • 1Department of Regulation Biology, National Institute for Basic Biology, Myodaiji, Okazaki, 444 Japan (Z.G., H.W., N.M.).


The effect of the unsaturation of glycerolipids of thylakoid membranes on the heat tolerance of the photosynthetic evolution of oxygen was studied in vivo by mutation and transformation of fatty-acid desaturases in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis PCC6803. The experimental results indicate that elimination of dienoic lipid molecules decreases, to a small but distinct extent, the heat tolerance of photosynthetic oxygen evolution, but that elimination of trienoic lipid molecules has no effect on the heat tolerance. This conclusion contrasts with the previous hypothesis that the heat tolerance of photosynthesis is enhanced upon an increase in the level of saturation of membrane lipids. It is also shown that light does not affect the nature of the effect of lipid unsaturation on the heat tolerance of photosynthesis.

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