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Photosynth Res. 2007 Nov-Dec;94(2-3):347-57. Epub 2007 Jan 9.

Quantification of cyclic electron flow around Photosystem I in spinach leaves during photosynthetic induction.

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Laboratory of Quantitative Vegetation Ecology, Institute of Botany, The Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100093, China.


The variation of the rate of cyclic electron transport around Photosystem I (PS I) during photosynthetic induction was investigated by illuminating dark-adapted spinach leaf discs with red + far-red actinic light for a varied duration, followed by abruptly turning off the light. The post-illumination re-reduction kinetics of P700+, the oxidized form of the photoactive chlorophyll of the reaction centre of PS I (normalized to the total P700 content), was well described by the sum of three negative exponential terms. The analysis gave a light-induced total electron flux from which the linear electron flux through PS II and PS I could be subtracted, yielding a cyclic electron flux. Our results show that the cyclic electron flux was small in the very early phase of photosynthetic induction, rose to a maximum at about 30 s of illumination, and declined subsequently to <10% of the total electron flux in the steady state. Further, this cyclic electron flow, largely responsible for the fast and intermediate exponential decays, was sensitive to 3-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-1,1-dimethyl urea, suggesting an important role of redox poising of the cyclic components for optimal function. Significantly, our results demonstrate that analysis of the post-illumination re-reduction kinetics of P700+ allows the quantification of the cyclic electron flux in intact leaves by a relatively straightforward method.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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