, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 89-109

Regulation and possible function of the violaxanthin cycle

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This paper discusses biochemical and regulatory aspects of the violaxanthin cycle as well as its possible role in photoprotection. The violaxanthin cycle responds to environmental conditions in the short-term and long-term by adjusting rates of pigment conversions and pool sizes of cycle pigments, respectively. Experimental evidence indicating a relationship between zeaxanthin formation and non-photochemical energy dissipation is reviewed. Zeaxanthin-associated energy dissipation appears to be dependent on transthylakoid ΔpH. The involvement of light-harvesting complex II in this quenching process is indicated by several studies. The current hypotheses on the underlying mechanism of zeaxanthin-dependent quenching are alterations of membrane properties, including conformational changes of the light-harvesting complex II, and singlet-singlet energy transfer from chlorophyll to zeaxanthin