, Volume 171, Issue 2, pp 220–226 | Cite as

Non-photochemical quenching of chlorophyll a fluorescence in isolated chloroplasts under conditions of stressed photosynthesis

  • Henrik Laasch


Non-photochemical quenching of chlorophyll a fluorescence after short-time light, heat and osmotic stress was investigated with intact chloroplasts from Spinacia oleracea L. The proportions of non-photochemical fluorescence quenching (q N ) which are related (q E ) and unrelated (q I ) to the transthylakoid proton gradient (ΔpH) were determined. Light stress resulted in an increasing contribution of qIto total qN.The linear dependence of q. Eand ΔpH, as seen in controls, was maintained. The mechanisms underlying this type of quenching are obviously unaffected by photoin-hibition. In constrast, qEwas severely affected by heat and osmotic stress. In low light, the response of qEto changes in ΔpH was enhanced, whereas it was reduced in high light. The data are discussed with reference to the hypothesis that qEis related to thermal dissipation of excitation energy from photosystem II. It is shown that qEis not only controlled by ΔpH, but also by external factors.

Key words

Chloroplast (stress) Chlorophyll fluorescence Heat stress Light stress Osomotic stress Photoinhibition of photosynthesis Spinacia (chloroplasts, stressed) 

Abbreviations and symbols




basic chlorophyll fluorescence


variable chlorophyll fluorescence


saturating light pulse




ΔpH-dependent, non-photochemical quenching of fluorescence


ΔpH-independent, non-photochemical quenching


entire non-photochemical quenching


photochemical quenching


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henrik Laasch
    • 1
  1. 1.Botanisches Institut der UniversitätDüsseldorfFederal Republic of Germany

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