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Tree Physiol. 2008 Oct;28(10):1475-82.

Seasonal acclimation of photosystem II in Pinus sylvestris. I. Estimating the rate constants of sustained thermal energy dissipation and photochemistry.

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  • 1Department of Forest Ecology, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 27, 00014 Helsinki, Finland. joan.porcar@helsinki.fi


Acclimation of the partitioning of absorbed light energy in Photosystem II (PSII) between photochemical and non-photochemical processes includes short-term adjustments that are rapidly reversed in the dark and seasonal acclimation processes that are unaffected by dark acclimation. Thus, by using dark-acclimated leaves to study the seasonal acclimation of PSII, the confounding effect of short-term adjustments is eliminated. The maximum quantum yield of photochemistry, estimated by chlorophyll fluorescence analysis as F(v)/F(m), where F(v) = (F(m) - F(o)), and F(m) and F(o) are maximum and minimum chlorophyll fluorescence, respectively, has been widely used to follow the seasonal acclimation of PSII, because it is measured in dark-acclimated leaves. Seasonal changes in F(v)/F(m) can be caused by adjustments in either the photochemical capacity in PSII, or the capacity of thermal dissipation in PSII, or both. However, there is a lack of chlorophyll fluorescence parameters that can distinguish between these processes. In this study, we introduce two new parameters: the rate constants of sustained thermal energy dissipation (k(NPQ)) and of photochemistry (k(P)). We estimated k(NPQ) and k(P) from dark-acclimated F(o) and F(m) measured during spring recovery of photosynthesis in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) trees. We suggest that k(NPQ) and k(P) be used to study the mechanisms underlying the observed seasonal acclimation in PSII, because these parameters provide quantitative data that complement and extend F(v)/F(m) measurements.

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