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FEBS Lett. 1998 Jun 5;429(1):115-8.

The chloroplast Ndh complex mediates the dark reduction of the plastoquinone pool in response to heat stress in tobacco leaves.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London, UK.


We have examined the effects of heat stress on electron transfer in the thylakoid membrane of an engineered plastid ndh deletion mutant, delta1, incapable of performing the Ndh-mediated reduction of the plastoquinone pool in the chloroplast. Upon heat stress in the dark, the rate of PSII-independent reduction of PSI after subsequent illumination by far-red light is dramatically enhanced in both delta1 and a wild-type control plant (WT). In contrast, in the dark, only the WT shows an increase in the reduction state of the plastoquinone pool. We conclude that the heat stress-induced reduction of the intersystem electron transport chain can be mediated by Ndh-independent pathways in the light but that in the dark the dominant pathway for reduction of the plastoquinone pool is catalysed by the Ndh complex. Our results therefore demonstrate a functional role for the Ndh complex in the dark.

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