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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2005 Jun 1;1708(1):79-90. Epub 2005 Feb 19.

Control of cytochrome b6f at low and high light intensity and cyclic electron transport in leaves.

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Tartu Ulikooli Molekulaar-ja Rakubioloogia Instituut, Riia tn. 23, Tartu, 51010, Estonia.


The light-dependent control of photosynthetic electron transport from plastoquinol (PQH(2)) through the cytochrome b(6)f complex (Cyt b(6)f) to plastocyanin (PC) and P700 (the donor pigment of Photosystem I, PSI) was investigated in laboratory-grown Helianthus annuus L., Nicotiana tabaccum L., and naturally-grown Solidago virgaurea L., Betula pendula Roth, and Tilia cordata P. Mill. leaves. Steady-state illumination was interrupted (light-dark transient) or a high-intensity 10 ms light pulse was applied to reduce PQ and oxidise PC and P700 (pulse-dark transient) and the following re-reduction of P700(+) and PC(+) was recorded as leaf transmission measured differentially at 810-950 nm. The signal was deconvoluted into PC(+) and P700(+) components by oxidative (far-red) titration (V. Oja et al., Photosynth. Res. 78 (2003) 1-15) and the PSI density was determined by reductive titration using single-turnover flashes (V. Oja et al., Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1658 (2004) 225-234). These innovations allowed the definition of the full light response curves of electron transport rate through Cyt b(6)f to the PSI donors. A significant down-regulation of Cyt b(6)f maximum turnover rate was discovered at low light intensities, which relaxed at medium light intensities, and strengthened again at saturating irradiances. We explain the low-light regulation of Cyt b(6)f in terms of inactivation of carbon reduction cycle enzymes which increases flux resistance. Cyclic electron transport around PSI was measured as the difference between PSI electron transport (determined from the light-dark transient) and PSII electron transport determined from chlorophyll fluorescence. Cyclic e(-) transport was not detected at limiting light intensities. At saturating light the cyclic electron transport was present in some, but not all, leaves. We explain variations in the magnitude of cyclic electron flow around PSI as resulting from the variable rate of non-photosynthetic ATP-consuming processes in the chloroplast, not as a principle process that corrects imbalances in ATP/NADPH stoichiometry during photosynthesis.

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