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Electrophotoluminescence and the electrical properties of the photosynthetic membrane 2. electric field induced electrical breakdown of the photosynthetic membrane and its recovery

, : Electrophotoluminescence and the electrical properties of the photosynthetic membrane 2. electric field induced electrical breakdown of the photosynthetic membrane and its recovery. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 767(3): 507-514

Preilluminated suspensions [pea, spinach, lettuce chloroplasts] of swollen thylakoid vesicles (blebs) were exposed to uni- and bipolar pairs of identical electric field pulses of variable duration, intensity and spacing. The resulting field-stimulated luminescence (electrophotoluminescence) was used as an intrinsic, voltage-sensitive optical probe to monitor electrical phenomena at the membrane level. The application of a pair of voltage pulses of opposite polarity made it possible to produce electric changes in the membrane by the 1st pulse and to analyze these effects by a 2nd pulse of opposite polarity. The relative amplitudes of the 2 electrophotoluminescence signals depended on the intensity of the applied electric field and on the time interval (t*) between the 2 pulses. When t* varied from 0.4 to 12 ms, the 2nd stimulated luminescence signal was at first much smaller than the 1st one and then increased exponentially until the 2 signals were equal for t* .gtoreq. 3 ms. These differences between the 2 field-stimulated luminescence signals were analyzed as a measure of the electrical breakdown of the membrane, induced during the 1st pulse. In this way a distinction between irreversible and reversible breakdown could be made with an estimation of the recovery kinetics of the reversible breakdown, which was found to be complete within 3 ms. Irreversible breakdown of the membrane increased with lengthening the exposure time from 0.1 to 1.3 ms especially when applying high electric field of at least 200 V/cm.

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