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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Feb 2;107(5):2337-42. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0908808107. Epub 2009 Dec 22.

Live-cell imaging of photosystem II antenna dissociation during state transitions.

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Institute of Low Temperature Science, Hokkaido University, N19 W8, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0819, Japan.


Plants and green algae maintain efficient photosynthesis under changing light environments by adjusting their light-harvesting capacity. It has been suggested that energy redistribution is brought about by shuttling the light-harvesting antenna complex II (LHCII) between photosystem II (PSII) and photosystem I (PSI) (state transitions), but such molecular remodeling has never been demonstrated in vivo. Here, using chlorophyll fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy, we visualized phospho-LHCII dissociation from PSII in live cells of the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Induction of energy redistribution in wild-type cells led to an increase in, and spreading of, a 250-ps lifetime chlorophyll fluorescence component, which was not observed in the stt7 mutant incapable of state transitions. The 250-ps component was also the dominant component in a mutant containing the light-harvesting antenna complexes but no photosystems. The appearance of the 250-ps component was accompanied by activation of LHCII phosphorylation, supporting the visualization of phospho-LHCII dissociation. Possible implications of the unbound phospho-LHCII on energy dissipation are discussed.

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