, Volume 195, Issue 2, pp 248–256 | Cite as

Acclimation of Arabidopsis thaliana to the light environment: Changes in composition of the photosynthetic apparatus

  • Robin G. Walters
  • Peter Horton


Acclimation to changes in the light environment was investigated in Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. cv. Landsberg erecta. Plants grown under four light regimes showed differences in their development, morphology, photosynthetic performance and in the composition of the photosynthetic apparatus. Plants grown under high light showed higher maximum rates of oxygen evolution and lower levels of light-harvesting complexes than their low light-grown counterparts; plants transferred to low light showed rapid changes in maximum photosynthetic rate and chlorophyll-a/b ratio as they became acclimated to the new environment. In contrast, plants grown under lights of differing spectral quality showed significant differences in the ratio of photosystem II to photosystem I. These changes are consistent with a model in which photosynthetic metabolism provides signals which regulate the composition of the thylakoid membrane.

Key words

Arabidopsis Chlorophyll-binding proteins Photomorphogenesis Photosynthesis Photosystem stoichiometry Thylakoid membrane 



gene encoding actin




far-red-enriched light (R:FR = 0.72)


far-red light


high light (400 μmol · m−2 · s−1)


low light (100 μml · m−2 · s−1)


light-harvesting complex of PSII


genes encoding the proteins of LHCII


red light


genes encoding the small subunit of Rubisco


ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase


white light (R:FR = 1.40)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robin G. Walters
    • 1
  • Peter Horton
    • 1
  1. 1.Robert Hill Institute, Department of Molecular Biology and BiotechnologyUniversity of SheffieldWestern BankUK

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