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Excitation energy partitioning and quenching during cold acclimation in Scots pine


Ensminger,  I.
Research Group Carbon-Change Atmosphere, Dr. J. Lloyd, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

Lloyd,  J.
Research Group Carbon-Change Atmosphere, Dr. J. Lloyd, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Sveshnikov, D., Ensminger, I., Ivanov, A. G., Campbell, D., Lloyd, J., Funk, C., et al. (2006). Excitation energy partitioning and quenching during cold acclimation in Scots pine. Tree Physiology, 26(3), 325-336. doi:10.1093/treephys/26.3.325.

We studied the influence of two irradiances on cold acclimation and recovery of photosynthesis in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) seedlings to assess mechanisms for quenching the excess energy captured by the photosynthetic apparatus. A shift in temperature from 20 to 5 degrees C caused a greater decrease in photosynthetic activity, measured by chlorophyll fluorescence and oxygen evolution, in plants exposed to moderate light (350 mu mol m(-2) s(-1)) than in shaded plants (50 mu mol m(-2) s(-1)). In response to the temperature shift, maximal photochemical efficiency of photosystem II (PSII), measured as the ratio of variable to maximal chlorophyll fluorescence (F-v/F-m) of dark-adapted samples, decreased to 70% in exposed seedlings, whereas shaded seedlings maintained F-v/F-m close to initial values. After a further temperature decrease to-5 C, only 8% of initial F-v/F-m remained in exposed plants, whereas shaded plants retained 40% of initial F-v/F-m. Seven days after transfer from-5 to 20 degrees C, recovery of photochemical efficiency was more complete in the shaded plants than in the exposed plants (87 and 65% of the initial F-v/F-m value, respectively). In response to cold stress, the estimated functional absorption cross section per remaining PSII reaction center increased at both irradiances, but the increase was more pronounced in exposed seedlings. Estimates of energy partitioning in the needles showed a much higher dissipative component in the exposed seedlings at low temperatures, pointing to stronger development of non-photochemical quenching at moderate irradiances. The de-epoxidation state of the xanthophyll cycle pigments increased in exposed seedlings at 5 degrees C, contributing to the quenching capacity, whereas significant de-epoxidation in the shaded plants was observed only when temperatures decreased to -5 degrees C. Thermoluminescence (TL) measurements of PSII revealed that charge recombinations between the second oxidation state of Mn-cluster S-2 and the semireduced secondary electron acceptor quinone Q(B)(-) (S(2)Q(B)(-)) were shifted to lower temperatures in cold-acclimated seedlings compared with control seedlings and this effect depended on irradiance. Concomitant with this. cold-acclimated seedlings demonstrated a significant shift in the S2 recombination with primary acceptor Q(A)(-) (S(2)Q(A)(-)) characteristic TL emission peak to higher temperatures, thus narrowing the redox potential gap between S(2)Q(B)(-) and S(2)Q(A)(-), which might result in increased probability for non-radiative radical pair recombination between the PSII reaction center chlorophyll a (P680(+)) and Q(A)(-) (P680(+)Q(A)(-)) (reaction center quenching) in cold-acclimated seedlings. In Scots pine seedlings, mechanisms of quenching excess light energy in winter therefore involve light-dependent regulation of reaction center content and both reaction center-based and antenna-based quenching of excess light energy, enabling them to withstand high excitation pressure under northern winter conditions. [References: 55]