Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 67, Issue 1, pp 139–145

Photoprotection in a zeaxanthin- and lutein-deficient double mutant of Arabidopsis


    • Department of Plant and Microbial BiologyUniversity of California
  • Connie Shih
    • Department of Plant BiologyCarnegie Institution of Washington
  • Wah Soon Chow
    • Research School of Biological SciencesAustralian National University
  • Barry J. Pogson
    • Division of Biochemistry and Molecular BiologyAustralian National University
  • Dean DellaPenna
    • Department of BiochemistryUniversity of Nevada
  • Olle Björkman
    • Department of Plant BiologyCarnegie Institution of Washington

DOI: 10.1023/A:1010661102365

Cite this article as:
Niyogi, K.K., Shih, C., Soon Chow, W. et al. Photosynthesis Research (2001) 67: 139. doi:10.1023/A:1010661102365


When light absorption by a plant exceeds its capacity for light utilization, photosynthetic light harvesting is rapidly downregulated by photoprotective thermal dissipation, which is measured as nonphotochemical quenching of chlorophyll fluorescence (NPQ). To address the involvement of specific xanthophyll pigments in NPQ, we have analyzed mutants affecting xanthophyll metabolism in Arabidopsis thaliana. An npq1 lut2 double mutant was constructed, which lacks both zeaxanthin and lutein due to defects in the violaxanthin de-epoxidase and lycopene ∈-cyclase genes. The npq1 lut2 strain had normal Photosystem II efficiency and nearly wild-type concentrations of functional Photosystem II reaction centers, but the rapidly reversible component of NPQ was completely inhibited. Despite the defects in xanthophyll composition and NPQ, the npq1 lut2 mutant exhibited a remarkable ability to tolerate high light.

luteinnonphotochemical quenchingphotoprotectionxanthophyll cyclezeaxanthin
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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001