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J Exp Bot. 2006;57(8):1677-84. Epub 2006 May 19.

Tocopherol is the scavenger of singlet oxygen produced by the triplet states of chlorophyll in the PSII reaction centre.

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  • 1Institut für Biologie II, Biochemie der Pflanzen, Universität Freiburg, Germany.


Recent developments on the role of tocopherol in the antioxidant network of the chloroplast and, in particular, in the protection of PSII in high light are summarized. The origin and conditions for singlet oxygen production in the reaction centre via P680 triplet formation are discussed, as well as the scavenging of this singlet oxygen by tocopherol. This is probably the obligatory function of tocopherol in the plant in high light acclimation. Furthermore, tocopherol is part of the modulation system of ROS in stress signalling.

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