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Plant Physiol. 1989 Mar;89(3):932-40.

Photosynthetic apparatus of pea thylakoid membranes : response to growth light intensity.

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1
Department of Plant Biology, University of Illinois, 289 Morrill Hall, 505 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana, Illinois 61801.

Abstract

We investigated the effect of growth light intensity on the photosynthetic apparatus of pea (Pisum sativum) thylakoid membranes. Plants were grown either in a growth chamber at light intensities that ranged from 8 to 1050 microeinsteins per square meter per second, or outside under natural sunlight. In thylakoid membranes we determined: the amounts of active and inactive photosystem II, photosystem I, cytochrome b/f, and high potential cytochrome b(559), the rate of uncoupled electron transport, and the ratio of chlorophyll a to b. In leaves we determined: the amounts of the photosynthetic components per leaf area, the fresh weight per leaf area, the rate of electron transport, and the light compensation point. To minimize factors other than growth light intensity that may alter the photosynthetic apparatus, we focused on peas grown above the light compensation point (20-40 microeinsteins per square meter per second), and harvested only the unshaded leaves at the top of the plant. The maximum difference in the concentrations of the photosynthetic components was about 30% in thylakoids isolated from plants grown over a 10-fold range in light intensity, 100 to 1050 microeinsteins per square meter per second. Plants grown under natural sunlight were virtually indistinguishable from plants grown in growth chambers at the higher light intensities. On a leaf area basis, over the same growth light regime, the maximum difference in the concentration of the photosynthetic components was also about 30%. For peas grown at 1050 microeinsteins per square meter per second we found the concentrations of active photosystem II, photosystem I, and cytochrome b/f were about 2.1 millimoles per mol chlorophyll. There were an additional 20 to 33% of photosystem II complexes that were inactive. Over 90% of the heme-containing cytochrome f detected in the thylakoid membranes was active in linear electron transport. Based on these data, we do not find convincing evidence that the stoichiometries of the electron transport components in the thylakoid membrane, the size of the light-harvesting system serving the reaction centers, or the concentration of the photosynthetic components per leaf area, are regulated in response to different growth light intensities. The concept that emerges from this work is of a relatively fixed photosynthetic apparatus in thylakoid membranes of peas grown above the light compensation point.

PMID:
16666644
PMCID:
PMC1055946
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