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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1994 Sep 13;91(19):8787-91.

The recovery of photosynthesis from low-temperature photoinhibition is accelerated by the unsaturation of membrane lipids: a mechanism of chilling tolerance.

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Department of Regulation Biology, National Institute for Basic Biology, Okazaki, Japan.


In a previous study of mutants in fatty-acid desaturation of Synechocystis PCC6803, it was demonstrated that the photoinhibition of photosynthesis at low temperature in vivo is tolerated by cells as a result of the unsaturation of glycerolipids of thylakoid membranes. Since the extent of photoinhibition of photosynthesis in vivo depends on a balance between the photoinduced inactivation and the recovery from the photoinhibited state, an examination was made of the effects of the unsaturation of membrane lipids on these processes. It appears that the unsaturation of the membrane lipids does not affect the inactivation process but accelerates the recovery process and, moreover, that the apparent increase in the photoinhibition in vivo of photosynthesis at low temperature is caused by a depressed rate of recovery at low temperature.

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