, Volume 165, Issue 3, pp 430–438 | Cite as

Photoinhibition of photosynthesis under anaerobic conditions studied with leaves and chloroplasts of Spinacia oleracea L.

  • G. H. Krause
  • S. Köster
  • S. C. Wong


The role of oxygen in the photoinactivation of the photosynthetic apparatus of Spinacia oleracea L. was investigated. Moderate irradiation (1200 μmol photons m-2s-1) of spinach leaves in an atmosphere of pure nitrogen caused strong inhibition of subsequently measured net CO2 assimilation, whereas considerably less photoinhibition was observed in the presence of low partial pressures (10–20 mbar) of O2. The decrease in activity caused by anaerobiosis in the light was not based on stomatal closure; the decline of assimilation represents a photoinhibition, as activity was not impaired by low irradiation (80 μmol photos m-2s-1). In contrast, gassing with pure N2 in the dark caused strong inhibition. Electron-transport rates and chlorophyll-fluorescence data of thylakoids isolated from photoinhibited leaves indicated damage to the electron-transport system, in particular to photosystem II reaction centers. In vitro, photoinhibition in isolated thylakoid membranes was also strongly promoted by anaerobiosis. Photoinhibition of electron-transport rates under anaerobic conditions was characterized by a pronounced increase in the initial fluorescence level, F0, of chlorophyll-fluorescence induction, in contrast to photoinhibition under aerobic conditions. The results are discussed in terms of two mechanisms of photoinhibition, one that is suppressed and a second that is promoted by oxygen.

Key words

Anaerobiosis Chlorophyll a fluorescence Photoinhibition Photosynthesis (CO2 assimilation, electron transport) Spinacia (photoinhibition) Thylakoids, isolated 





3-(3′, 4′-dichlorophenyl)-1,1-dimethylurea


photosystem I, II


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Arnon, D.I. (1949) Copper enzymes in isolated chloroplasts. Polyphenoloxidase in Beta vulgaris. Plant Physiol. 24, 1–15Google Scholar
  2. Arnon, D.I., Chain, R.K. (1977) Role of oxygen in ferredoxin-catalysed cyclic photophosphorylation. FEBS Lett. 82, 297–302Google Scholar
  3. Barényi, B., Krause G.H. (1985) Inhibition of photosynthetic reactions by light. A study with isolated spinach chloroplasts. Planta 163, 218–226Google Scholar
  4. Cornic, G. (1978) La Photorespiration se déroulant dans un air sans CO2 a-t-elle une fonction? Can. J. Bot. 56, 2128–2137Google Scholar
  5. Delieu, T., Walker, D.A. (1972) An improved cathode for the measurement of photosynthetic oxygen evolution by isolated chloroplasts. New Phytol. 71, 201–225Google Scholar
  6. Elstner, E.F. (1982) Oxygen activation and oxygen toxicity. Annu. Rev. Plant Physiol. 33, 73–96Google Scholar
  7. Halliwell, B. (1981) Chloroplast metabolism. The structure and function of chloroplasts in green leaf cells. Clarendon Press, Oxford, UKGoogle Scholar
  8. Heber, U. (1969) Conformational changes of chloroplasts induced by illumination of leaves in vivo. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 180, 302–319Google Scholar
  9. Heber, U. (1973) Stoichiometry of reduction and phosphorylation during illumination of intact chloroplasts. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 305, 140–152Google Scholar
  10. Heber, U., Egneus, H., Hanck, U., Jensen, M., Köster, S. (1978) Regulation of photosynthetic electron transport and photophosphorylation in intact chloroplasts and leaves of Spinacia oleracea L. Planta 143, 41–49Google Scholar
  11. Heber, U., French, C.S. (1968) Effects of oxygen on the electron transport chain of photosynthesis. Planta 79, 99–112Google Scholar
  12. Jensen, R.G., Bassham, J.A. (1966) Photosynthesis by isolated chloroplasts. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 56, 1095–1101Google Scholar
  13. Kirk, M.R., Heber, U. (1976) Rates of synthesis and source of glycolate in intact chloroplasts. Planta 132, 131–141Google Scholar
  14. Kobayashi, Y., Köster, S., Heber, U. (1982) Light scattering, chlorophyll fluorescence and state of the adenylate system in illuminated spinach leaves. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 682, 44–54Google Scholar
  15. Köster, S., Heber, U. (1982) Light scattering and quenching of 9-aminoacridine fluorescence as indicators of the phosphorylation state of the adenylate system in intact spinach chloroplasts. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 680, 88–94Google Scholar
  16. Krause, G.H., Kirk, M., Heber, U. Osmond, C.B. (1978) O2-dependent inhibition of photosynthetic capacity in intact isolated chloroplasts and isolated cells from spinach leaves illuminated in the absence of CO2 Planta 142, 229–233Google Scholar
  17. Krause, G.H., Vernotte, C., Briantais, J.-M. (1982) Photoinduced quenching of chlorophyll fluorescence in intact chloroplasts and algae. Resolution into two components. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 679, 116–124Google Scholar
  18. Krause, G.H., Weis, E. (1984) Chlorophyll fluorescence as a tool in plant physiology. II. Interpretation of fluorescence signals. Photosynth. Res. 5, 139–157Google Scholar
  19. Morris, P., Nash, G.V., Hall, D.O., (1982) The stability of electron transport in in vitro chloroplast membranes. Photosynth. Res. 3, 227–240Google Scholar
  20. Powles, S.B. (1984) Photoinhibition of photosynthesis induced by visible light. Annu. Rev. Plant Physiol. 35, 15–44Google Scholar
  21. Powles, S.B., Berry, J.A., Björkman, O. (1983) Interaction between light and chilling temperature on the inhibition of photosynthesis in chilling-sensitive plants. Plant Cell Environ. 6, 117–123Google Scholar
  22. Powles, S.B., Björkman, O. (1982) Photoinhibition of photosynthesis: effect on chlorophyll fluorescence at 77 K in intact leaves and in chloroplast membranes of Nerium oleander. Planta 156, 97–107Google Scholar
  23. Powles, S.B., Osmond, C.B. (1978) Inhibition of the capacity and efficiency of photosynthesis in bean leaflets illuminated in a CO2-free atmosphere at low oxygen: A possible role for photorespiration. Aust. J. Plant Physiol. 5, 619–629Google Scholar
  24. Powles, S.B., Osmond, C.B., Thorne, S.W. (1979) Photoinhibition of intact attached leaves of C3 plants illuminated in the absence of both carbon dioxide and of photorespiration. Plant Physiol. 64, 982–988Google Scholar
  25. Rowley, J.A., Taylor, A.O. (1972) Plants under climatic stress. IV. Effects of CO2 and O2 on photosynthesis under high-light, low-temperature stress. New Phytol. 71, 477–481Google Scholar
  26. Satoh, K. (1970) Mechanism of photoinactivation in photosynthetic systems. II. The occurrence and properties of two different types of photoinactivation. Plant Cell Physiol. 11, 29–38Google Scholar
  27. Satoh, K. (1971) Mechanism of photoinactivation in photosynthetic systems. IV. Light-induced changes in the fluorescence transient. Plant Cell Physiol. 12, 13–27Google Scholar
  28. Satoh, K., Fork, D.C. (1982a) The light-induced decline of chlorophyll fluorescence as an indicator of photoinhibition in intact Bryopsis chloroplasts illuminated under anaerobic conditions. Photobiochem. Photobiophys. 4, 153–162Google Scholar
  29. Satoh, K., Fork, D.C. (1982b) Photoinhibition of reaction centers of photosystem I and II in intact Bryopsis chloroplasts under anaerobic conditions. Plant Physiol. 70, 1004–1008Google Scholar
  30. Schreiber, U., Armond, P.A. (1978) Heat-induced changes of chlorophyll fluorescence in isolated chloroplasts and related heat-damage at the pigment level. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 502, 138–151Google Scholar
  31. Takahashi, M., Asada, K. (1982) Dependence of oxygen affinity for Mehler reaction on photochemical activity of chloroplast thylakoids. Plant Cell Physiol. 23, 1457–1461Google Scholar
  32. Trebst, A. (1962) Lichtinaktivierung der O2-Entwicklung in der Photosynthese. Z. Naturforsch. Teil. B 17, 660–663Google Scholar
  33. van Hasselt, P.R., van Berlo, H.A.C. (1980) Photooxidative damage to the photosynthetic apparatus during chilling. Physiol. Plant. 50, 52–56Google Scholar
  34. von Caemmerer, S., Farquhar, G.D. (1981) Some relationships between the biochemistry of photosynthesis and the gas exchange of leaves. Planta 153, 376–387Google Scholar
  35. Wong, S.C. (1979) Elevated atmospheric pressure of CO2 and plant growth. I. Interactions of nitrogen nutrition and photosynthetic capacity in C3 and C4 plants. Oecologia 44, 68–74Google Scholar
  36. Wong, S.C., Cowan, I.R., Farquhar, G.D. (1978) Leaf conductance in relation to assimilation in Eucalyptus pauciflora Sieb. ex Spreng. Influence of irradiance and partial pressure of carbon dioxide. Plant Physiol. 62, 670–674Google Scholar
  37. Woo, K.C., Wong, S.C. (1983) Inhibition of CO2 assimilation by supraoptimal CO2: Effect of light and temperature. Aust J. Plant Physiol. 10, 75–85Google Scholar
  38. Ziem-Hanck, U., Heber, U. (1980) Oxygen requirement of photosynthetic CO2 assimilation. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 591, 266–274Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. H. Krause
    • 1
  • S. Köster
    • 2
  • S. C. Wong
    • 2
  1. 1.Botanisches Institut der Universität DüsseldorfDüsseldorf 1Federal Republic of Germany
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Biology, Research School of Biological SciencesAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

Personalised recommendations