Photoinhibition of photosynthesis in Antarctic lichen Usnea antarctica. II. Analysis of non-photochemical quenching mechanisms activated by low to medium light doses

Abstract

The paper focus sensitivity of an Antarctic lichen Usnea antarctica to photoinhibition studied under controlled laboratory conditions. Main emphasis was given to the analysis of quenching mechanisms, i.e. deexcitation pathways of absorbed light energy exploited in non-photochemical processes. Thalli of U. antarctica were collected at the James Ross Island, Antarctica (57°52´57´´ W, 63°48´02´´ S) and transferred in dry state to the Czech Republic. After rewetting in a laboratory, they were exposed to medium light intensities (300, 600 and 1000 mmol m-2 s-1 of photosynthetically active radiation) for 6 h. Before and during photoinhibitory treatments, chlorophyll fluorescence parameters, photoinhibitory (qI), state 1-2 transition (qT), and energy-dependent quenching (qE) in particular were measured to evaluate dose- and time-dependent changes in these parameters. The results showed that among the components forming non-photochemical quenching (qN), qI contributes to the largest extent to qN, while qE and qT contribute less. This finding differs from our earlier studies made in a short term-, and high light-treated U. antarctica that found qE together with qI is the most important part of non-photochemical quenching. Possible explanation is that photoinhibition in PS II in U. ant-arctica, when induced by low to medium light, activates qE to only limited extend and for a relatively short time (tens of minutes). With prolonged high light treatment lasting several hours, qE tends to be reduced to the values close to zero and qI then forms a major part of qN

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