, Volume 198, Issue 2, pp 202-210

First online:

Kinetic correlation of recovery from photoinhibition and zeaxanthin epoxidation

  • Peter JahnsAffiliated withInstitut für Biochemie der Pflanzen, Heinrich-Heine-Universtät Düsseldorf
  • , Birgit MieheAffiliated withInstitut für Biochemie der Pflanzen, Heinrich-Heine-Universtät Düsseldorf

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


The generation of non-photochemical fluorescence quenching under photoinhibitory illumination and its relaxation under subsequent low light illumination in leaves from intermittent-light-grown pea (Pisum sativum L.) plants (IML-plants) has been investigated. In parallel, we studied (i) the activity of the xanthophyll cycle with emphasis on zeaxanthin formation and reconversion to violaxanthin and (ii) the degradation rate of D1 protein. In comparison to control plants grown in continuous light, IML-plants were much more susceptible to photoinhibition as determined from the increase of slowly (halftimes > 20 min) relaxing quenching (qI) of variable chlorophyll fluorescence. The relaxation (recovery) kinetics of qI (under weak light) in both types of plant depended on the photon flux density, temperature and duration of pre-illumination. The recovery time generally increased with an increasing degree of qI. In IML-plants, relaxation of qI was kinetically closely related to the epoxidation of zeaxanthin. At high degrees of photosystem II inhibition the kinetics resembled those of D1 degradation. The results are discussed in terms of the mechanisms of photosystem II inactivation in vivo.

Key words

Chlorophyll a/b-binding proteins Fluorescence quenching Photoinhibition Pisum Xanthophyll cycle Zeaxanthin