, Volume 75, Issue 2, pp 127-137

The interaction of visible and UV-B light during photodamage and repair of Photosystem II

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In order to understand the mechanism of photodamage induced by solar radiation under natural conditions, we studied the interaction of visible and ultraviolet-B light in the inactivation and repair of the Photosystem II complex by using oxygen evolution and flash-induced chlorophyll fluorescence measurements. In isolated spinach thylakoids and Synechocystis 6803 cells, in which de novo protein synthesis is blocked by lincomycin, photodamage of Photosystem II by visible and UV-B light is characterized by linear semilogarithmic inactivation curves for both separate and combined illumination protocols. The extent of PS II inactivation obtained after combined illumination can be well simulated by assuming independent damaging events induced by visible and UV-B photons. In intact Synechocystis cells capable of protein repair, simultaneous illumination by visible and UV-B light impairs Photosystem II activity to a smaller extent than expected from the independent damaging events. This protective effect is pronounced at low visible light (130 μE m−2 s−1), but becomes negligible at high intensities (1300 μE m−2 s−1). Exposure of intact Synechocystis 6803 cells to direct sunlight leads to a rapid inactivation of PS II, accompanied by the accumulation of donor side inhibited centers. This phenomenon, which shows the impairment of the manganese cluster of water oxidation was not observed when the ultraviolet components of sunlight were filtered out. We conclude that visible and UV-B photons inactivate PS II via non-interacting mechanisms, which affect different target sites. In intact cells, the two spectral regions do interact, and results in synergistically enhanced protein repair capacity when UV-B radiation is accompanied by low intensity visible light, which provides protection against photodamage. However, this ameliorating effect becomes insignificant at high light intensities characteristic of direct sunlight.