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Photosynth Res. 2001;67(1-2):63-78.

Correlation between persistent forms of zeaxanthin-dependent energy dissipation and thylakoid protein phosphorylation.

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Department of Environmental, Population, and Organismic Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, 80309-0334, USA,


High light stress induced not only a sustained form of xanthophyll cycle-dependent energy dissipation but also sustained thylakoid protein phosphorylation. The effect of protein phosphatase inhibitors (fluoride and molybdate ions) on recovery from a 1-h exposure to a high PFD was examined in leaf discs of Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper). Inhibition of protein dephosphorylation induced zeaxanthin retention and sustained energy dissipation (NPQ) upon return to low PFD for recovery, but had no significant effects on pigment and Chl fluorescence characteristics under high light exposure. In addition, whole plants of Monstera deliciosa and spinach grown at low to moderate PFDs were transferred to high PFDs, and thylakoid protein phosphorylation pattern (assessed with anti-phosphothreonine antibody) as well as pigment and Chl fluorescence characteristics were examined over several days. A correlation was obtained between dark-sustained D1/D2 phosphorylation and dark-sustained zeaxanthin retention and maintenance of PS II in a state primed for energy dissipation in both species. The degree of these dark-sustained phenomena was more pronounced in M. deliciosa compared with spinach. Moreover, M. deliciosa but not spinach plants showed unusual phosphorylation patterns of Lhcb proteins with pronounced dark-sustained Lhcb phosphorylation even under low PFD growth conditions. Subsequent to the transfer to a high PFD, dark-sustained Lhcb protein phosphorylation was further enhanced. Thus, phosphorylation patterns of D1/D2 and Lhcb proteins differed from each other as well as among plant species. The results presented here suggest an association between dark-sustained D1/D2 phosphorylation and sustained retention of zeaxanthin and energy dissipation (NPQ) in light-stressed, and particularly 'photoinhibited', leaves. Functional implications of these observations are discussed.


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