Dark Respiration Protects Photosynthesis Against Photoinhibition in Mesophyll Protoplasts of Pea (Pisum sativum)

Saradadevi, K.; Raghavendra, A.S.

Plant Physiology 99(3): 1232-1237


ISSN/ISBN: 0032-0889
PMID: 16668993
DOI: 10.1104/pp.99.3.1232
Accession: 002064911

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The optimal light intensity required for photosynthesis by mesophyll protoplasts of pea (Pisum sativum) is about 1250 microeinsteins per square meter per second. On exposure to supra-optimal light intensity (2500 microeinsteins per square meter per second) for 10 min, the protoplasts lost 30 to 40% of their photosynthetic capacity. Illumination with normal light intensity (1250 microeinsteins per square meter per second) for 10 min enhanced the rate of dark respiration in protoplasts. On the other hand, when protoplasts were exposed to photoinhibitory light, their dark respiration also was markedly reduced along with photosynthesis. The extent of photoinhibition was increased when protoplasts were incubated with even low concentrations of classic respiratory inhibitors: 1 micromolar antimycin A, 1 micromolar sodium azide, and 1 microgram per milliliter oligomycin. At these concentrations, the test inhibitors had very little or no effect directly on the process of photosynthetic oxygen evolution. The promotion of photoinhibition by inhibitors of oxidative electron transport (antimycin A, sodium azide) and phosphorylation (oligomycin) was much more pronounced than that by inhibitors of glycolysis and tricarboxylic acid cycle (sodium fluoride and sodium malonate, respectively). We suggest that the oxidative electron transport and phosphorylation in mitochondria play an important role in protecting the protoplasts against photoinhibition of photosynthesis. Our results also demonstrate that protoplasts offer an additional experimental system for studies on photoinhibition.