, Volume 198, Issue 2, pp 202–210 | Cite as

Kinetic correlation of recovery from photoinhibition and zeaxanthin epoxidation

  • Peter Jahns
  • Birgit Miehe


The generation of non-photochemical fluorescence quenching under photoinhibitory illumination and its relaxation under subsequent low light illumination in leaves from intermittent-light-grown pea (Pisum sativum L.) plants (IML-plants) has been investigated. In parallel, we studied (i) the activity of the xanthophyll cycle with emphasis on zeaxanthin formation and reconversion to violaxanthin and (ii) the degradation rate of D1 protein. In comparison to control plants grown in continuous light, IML-plants were much more susceptible to photoinhibition as determined from the increase of slowly (halftimes > 20 min) relaxing quenching (qI) of variable chlorophyll fluorescence. The relaxation (recovery) kinetics of qI (under weak light) in both types of plant depended on the photon flux density, temperature and duration of pre-illumination. The recovery time generally increased with an increasing degree of qI. In IML-plants, relaxation of qI was kinetically closely related to the epoxidation of zeaxanthin. At high degrees of photosystem II inhibition the kinetics resembled those of D1 degradation. The results are discussed in terms of the mechanisms of photosystem II inactivation in vivo.

Key words

Chlorophyll a/b-binding proteins Fluorescence quenching Photoinhibition Pisum Xanthophyll cycle Zeaxanthin 




CAB protein

chlorophyll a/b-binding protein




continuous light


maximum fluorescence


variable fluorescence


intermittent light


photon flux density


energy-dependent fluorescence quenching


photoinhibitory fluorescence quenching








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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Jahns
    • 1
  • Birgit Miehe
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Biochemie der Pflanzen, Heinrich-Heine-Universtät DüsseldorfDüsseldorfGermany

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