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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2007 Jun;1767(6):860-8. Epub 2007 Mar 19.

Impairment of the photosynthetic apparatus by oxidative stress induced by photosensitization reaction of protoporphyrin IX.

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School of Life Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi 110067, India.


Treatment with the herbicide acifluorfen-sodium (AF-Na), an inhibitor of protoporphyrinogen oxidase, caused an accumulation of protoporphyrin IX (Proto IX) , light-induced necrotic spots on the cucumber cotyledon within 12-24 h, and photobleaching after 48-72 h of light exposure. Proto IX-sensitized and singlet oxygen ((1)O(2))-mediated oxidative stress caused by AF-Na treatment impaired photosystem I (PSI), photosystem II (PSII) and whole chain electron transport reactions. As compared to controls, the F(v)/F(m) (variable to maximal chlorophyll a fluorescence) ratio of treated samples was reduced. The PSII electron donor NH(2)OH failed to restore the F(v)/F(m) ratio suggesting that the reduction of F(v)/F(m) reflects the loss of reaction center functions. This explanation is further supported by the practically near-similar loss of PSI and PSII activities. As revealed from the light saturation curve (rate of oxygen evolution as a function of light intensity), the reduction of PSII activity was both due to the reduction in the quantum yield at limiting light intensities and impairment of light-saturated electron transport. In treated cotyledons both the Q (due to recombination of Q(A)(-) with S(2)) and B (due to recombination of Q(B)(-) with S(2)/S(3)) band of thermoluminescence decreased by 50% suggesting a loss of active PSII reaction centers. In both the control and treated samples, the thermoluminescence yield of B band exhibited a periodicity of 4 suggesting normal functioning of the S states in centers that were still active. The low temperature (77 K) fluorescence emission spectra revealed that the F(695) band (that originates in CP-47) increased probably due to reduced energy transfer from the CP47 to the reaction center. These demonstrated an overall damage to the PSI and PSII reaction centers by (1)O(2) produced in response to photosensitization reaction of protoporphyrin IX in AF-Na-treated cucumber seedlings.

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