Reduced levels of cytochrome b6/f in transgenic tobacco increases the excitation pressure on photosystem II without increasing sensitivity to photoinhibition in vivo
Photosynthesis Research: 1996 50:159-169

Hurry V, Anderson JM, Badger MR, Price GD


We have examined tobacco transformed with an antisense construct against the Rieske-FeS subunit of the cytochromeb6f complex, containing only 15 to 20% of the wild-type level of cytochrome f. The anti-Rieske-FeS leaves had a comparable chlorophyll and Photosystem II reaction center stoichiometry and a comparable carotenoid profile to the wild-type, with differences of less than 10% on a leaf area basis. When exposed to high irradiance, the anti-Rieske-FeS leaves showed a greatly increased closure of Photosystem II and a much reduced capacity to develop non-photochemical quenching compared with wild-type. However, contrary to our expectations, the anti-Rieske-FeS leaves were not more susceptible to photoinhibition than were wild-type leaves. Further, when we regulated the irradiance so that the excitation pressure on photosystem II was equivalent in both the anti-Rieske-FeS and wild-type leaves, the anti-Rieske-FeS leaves experienced much less photoinhibition than wild-type. The evidence from the anti-Rieske-FeS tobacco suggests that rapid photoinactivation of Photosystem II in vivo only occurs when closure of Photosystem II coincides with lumen acidification. These results suggest that the model of photoinhibition in vivo occurring principally because of limitations to electron withdrawal from photosystem II does not explain photoinhibition in these transgenic tobacco leaves, and we need to re-evaluate the twinned concepts of photoinhibition and photoprotection.

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