Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 15–26 | Cite as

Evaluation of the role of State transitions in determining the efficiency of light utilisation for CO2 assimilation in leaves

  • James R. Andrews
  • Guy J. Bredenkamp
  • Neil R. Baker
Regular Paper


Wheat leaves were exposed to light treatments that excite preferentially Photosystem I (PS I) or Photosystem II (PS II) and induce State 1 or State 2, respectively. Simultaneous measurements of CO2 assimilation, chlorophyll fluorescence and absorbance at 820 nm were used to estimate the quantum efficiencies of CO2 assimilation and PS II and PS I photochemistry during State transitions. State transitions were found to be associated with changes in the efficiency with which an absorbed photon is transferred to an open PS II reaction centre, but did not correlate with changes in the quantum efficiencies of PS II photochemistry or CO2 assimilation. Studies of the phosphorylation status of the light harvesting chlorophyll protein complex associated with PS II (LHC II) in wheat leaves and using chlorina mutants of barley which are deficient in this complex demonstrate that the changes in the effective antennae size of Photosystem II occurring during State transitions require LHC II and correlate with the phosphorylation status of LHC II. However, such correlations were not found in maize leaves. It is concluded that State transitions in C3 leaves are associated with phosphorylation-induced modifications of the PS II antennae, but these changes do not serve to optimise the use of light absorbed by the leaf for CO2 assimilation.

Key words

CO2 assimilation light harvesting chlorophyll a/b protein complex Photosystem I Photosystem II protein phosphorylation quantum yield State transition 


Fm, Fo, Fv

maximal, minimal and variable fluorescence yields

Fm′, Fv′

maximal and variable fluorescence yields in a light adapted state


light harvesting chlorophyll a/b protein complex associated with PS II


photochemical quenching


light-induced absorbance change at 820 nm


relative quantum efficiencies of PS I and PS II photochemistry


quantum yield of CO2 assimilation


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publushers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • James R. Andrews
    • 1
  • Guy J. Bredenkamp
    • 1
  • Neil R. Baker
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of EssexColchesterUK

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