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Front Plant Sci. 2014 Jun 30;5:292. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2014.00292. eCollection 2014.

Photosynthesis in a different light: spectro-microscopy for in vivo characterization of chloroplasts.

Author information

1
Department of Plant Physiology, Center for Plant Molecular Biology (ZMBP), University of Tübingen Tübingen, Germany.
2
Biocenter Cologne, Botanical Institute, University of Cologne Cologne, Germany.
3
Nanobiophysics Group and MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology, University of Twente Enschede, Netherlands.
4
Department of Nano Optics, Insitute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, University of Tübingen Tübingen, Germany.
5
Nanobiophysics Group and MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology, University of Twente Enschede, Netherlands ; Department of Nanoscale Biophysics, FOM Institute AMOLF Amsterdam, Netherlands.
6
Biocenter Cologne, Botanical Institute, University of Cologne Cologne, Germany ; Plant Molecular Physiology and Biotechnology Group, Institut of Developmental and Molecular Biology of Plants, Cluster of Excellence on Plant Sciences, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Germany.
7
Department of Plant Physiology, Center for Plant Molecular Biology (ZMBP), University of Tübingen Tübingen, Germany ; Department of Nano Optics, Insitute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, University of Tübingen Tübingen, Germany.

Abstract

During photosynthesis, energy conversion at the two photosystems is controlled by highly complex and dynamic adaptation processes triggered by external factors such as light quality, intensity, and duration, or internal cues such as carbon availability. These dynamics have remained largely concealed so far, because current analytical techniques are based on the investigation of isolated chloroplasts lacking full adaptation ability and are performed at non-physiologically low temperatures. Here, we use non-invasive in planta spectro-microscopic approaches to investigate living chloroplasts in their native environment at ambient temperatures. This is a valuable approach to study the complex function of these systems, because an intrinsic property-the fluorescence emission-is exploited and no additional external perturbations are introduced. Our analysis demonstrates a dynamic adjustment of not only the photosystemI/photosystemII (PSI/PSII) intensity ratio in the chloroplasts but also of the capacity of the LHCs for energy transfer in response to environmental and internal cues.

KEYWORDS:

chloroplast; fluorescence; photochemistry; photosystem; spectromicroscopy; spectroscopy

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