Original Article

Planta

, Volume 213, Issue 5, pp 794-801

First online:

Acclimation of Arabidopsis thaliana to the light environment: the existence of separate low light and high light responses

  • Shaun BaileyAffiliated withRobert Hill Institute, Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK
  • , Robin G. WaltersAffiliated withRobert Hill Institute, Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK
  • , Stefan JanssonAffiliated withUmeå Plant Science Centre, Department of Plant Physiology, Umeå University, 90187 Umeå, Sweden
  • , Peter HortonAffiliated withRobert Hill Institute, Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK

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Abstract.

The capacity for photosynthetic acclimation in Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. cv. Landsberg erecta was assessed during growth over a broad range of irradiance. Discontinuities in the response to growth irradiance were revealed for the light- and CO2-saturated rate of photosynthesis (P max) and the ratio of chlorophyll a to chlorophyll b (Chl a/b). Three separate phases in the response of P max and Chl a/b to growth light were evident, with increases at low and high irradiance ranges and a plateau at intermediate irradiance. By measuring all chlorophyll-containing components of the thylakoid membrane that contribute to Chl a/b we reveal that distinct strategies for growth at low and high irradiance underlie the discontinuous response. These strategies include, in addition to changes in the major light-harvesting complexes of photosystem II (LHCII), large shifts in the amounts of both reaction centres as well as significant changes in the levels of minor LHCII and LHCI components.

Arabidopsis (light acclimation) Chlorophyll Light acclimation Light-harvesting Photosynthesis Photosystem