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EMBO Rep. 2002 Mar;3(3):280-5. Epub 2002 Feb 15.

Involvement of state transitions in the switch between linear and cyclic electron flow in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

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Centro di Studio del C.N.R. sulla Biologia Cellulare e Molecolare delle Piante, Università degli Studi di Milano, 20161 Milano, Italy.


The energetic metabolism of photosynthetic organisms is profoundly influenced by state transitions and cyclic electron flow around photosystem I. The former involve a reversible redistribution of the light-harvesting antenna between photosystem I and photosystem II and optimize light energy utilization in photosynthesis whereas the latter process modulates the photosynthetic yield. We have used the wild-type and three mutant strains of the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii--locked in state I (stt7), lacking the photosystem II outer antennae (bf4) or accumulating low amounts of cytochrome b6f complex (A-AUU)--and measured electron flow though the cytochrome b6f complex, oxygen evolution rates and fluorescence emission during state transitions. The results demonstrate that the transition from state 1 to state 2 induces a switch from linear to cyclic electron flow in this alga and reveal a strict cause-effect relationship between the redistribution of antenna complexes during state transitions and the onset of cyclic electron flow.

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