Photosystem II chlorophyll a fluorescence lifetimes and intensity are independent of the antenna size differences between barley wild-type and chlorina mutants: photochemical quenching and xanthophyll cycle-dependent nonphotochemical quenching of fluorescence
Gilmore, A.M.; Hazlett, T.L.; Debrunner, P.G.; Govindjee
Photosynthesis Research 48(1-2): 171-187
Photosystem II (PS II) chlorophyll (Chl) a fluorescence lifetimes were measured in thylakoids and leaves of barley wild-type and chlorina f104 and f2 mutants to determine the effects of the PS II Chl a+b antenna size on the deexcitation of absorbed light energy. These barley chlorina mutants have drastically reduced levels of PS II light-harvesting Chls and pigment-proteins when compared to wild-type plants. However, the mutant and wild-type PS II Chl a fluorescence lifetimes and intensity parameters were remarkably similar and thus independent of the PS II light-harvesting antenna size for both maximal (at minimum Chl fluorescence level, Fo) and minimal rates of PS II photochemistry (at maximum Chl fluorescence level, Fm). Further, the fluorescence lifetimes and intensity parameters, as affected by the trans-thylakoid membrane pH gradient (ΔpH) and the carotenoid pigments of the xanthophyll cycle, were also similar and independent of the antenna size differences. In the presence of a ΔpH, the xanthophyll cycle-dependent processes increased the fractional intensity of a Chl a fluorescence lifetime distribution centered around 0.4-0.5 ns, at the expense of a 1.6 ns lifetime distribution (see Gilmore et al. (1995) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 92: 2273-2277). When the zeaxanthin and antheraxanthin concentrations were measured relative to the number of PS II reaction center units, the ratios of fluorescence quenching to [xanthophyll] were similar between the wild-type and chlorina f104. However, the chlorina f104, compared to the wild-type, required around 2.5 times higher concentrations of these xanthophylls relative to Chl a+b to obtain the same levels of xanthophyll cycle-dependent fluorescence quenching. We thus suggest that, at a constant ΔpH, the fraction of the short lifetime distribution is determined by the concentration and thus binding frequency of the xanthophylls in the PS II inner antenna. The ΔpH also affected both the widths and centers of the lifetime distributions independent of the xanthophyll cycle. We suggest that the combined effects of the xanthophyll cycle and ΔpH cause major conformational changes in the pigment-protein complexes of the PS II inner or core antennae that switch a normal PS II unit to an increased rate constant of heat dissipation. We discuss a model of the PS II photochemical apparatus where PS II photochemistry and xanthophyll cycle-dependent energy dissipation are independent of the Peripheral antenna size.