Ivanov AG, Sane PV, Hurry V, Öquist G, Huner, NPA
Photosystem II reaction centre quenching: mechanisms and physiological role
Photosynthesis Research:2008 98:565-574

Dissipation of excess absorbed light energy in eukaryotic photoautotrophs through zeaxanthin- and ΔpH-dependent photosystem II antenna quenching is considered the major mechanism for non-photochemical quenching and photoprotection. However, there is mounting evidence of a zeaxanthin-independent pathway for dissipation of excess light energy based within the PSII reaction centre that may also play a significant role in photoprotection. We summarize recent reports which indicate that this enigma can be explained, in part, by the fact that PSII reaction centres can be reversibly interconverted from photochemical energy transducers that convert light into ATP
and NADPH to efficient, non-photochemical energy quenchers that protect the photosynthetic apparatus from photodamage. In our opinion, reaction centre quenching complements photoprotection through antenna quenching, and dynamic regulation of photosystem II reaction centre represents a general response to any environmental condition that predisposes the accumulation of reduced QA in the photosystem II reaction centres of prokaryotic and eukaryotic photoautotrophs. Since the evolution of reaction centres preceded the evolution of light harvesting systems, reaction centre quenching may represent the oldest photoprotective mechanism.

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