European Biophysics Journal

, Volume 42, Issue 6, pp 441–453 | Cite as

Propagation of photoinduced signals with the cytoplasmic flow along Characean internodes: evidence from changes in chloroplast fluorescence and surface pH

  • Alexander A. Bulychev
  • Anna V. Alova
  • Andrey B. Rubin
Original Paper


Emerging evidence suggests that cytoplasmic streaming can regulate the plasma-membrane H+ transport and photosynthetic electron flow. Microfluorometric and surface pH measurements on Chara corallina internodes revealed the transmission of photoinduced signals by the cytoplasmic flow for a distance of few millimeters from the site of stimulus application. When a 30-s pulse of bright light was locally applied, the downstream cell regions responded with either release or enhancement of non-photochemical quenching of chlorophyll fluorescence, depending on the background irradiance of the analyzed cell area. Under dim background irradiance (<20 μmol m−2 s−1), the arrival of the distant signal from the brightly illuminated 400-μm-wide zone elevated the maximal fluorescence F m in the analyzed downstream area, whereas at higher background irradiances it induced strong quenching of F m . At intermediate irradiances the increase and decrease in F m appeared as two successive waves. The transition between the F m responses of opposite polarities occurred at a narrow threshold range of irradiances. This indicates that inevitable slight variations in irradiance at the bottom chloroplast layer combined with the cyclosis-transmitted signals may contribute to the formation of a photosynthetic activity pattern. The rapid cyclosis-mediated release of non-photochemical quenching, unlike the delayed response of opposite polarity, was associated with opening of H+ (OH)-conducting plasma membrane channels, as evidenced by the concurrent alkaline pH shift on the cell surface. It is proposed that the initial increase in F m after application of a distant photostimulus is determined, among other factors, by the wave of alkaline cytoplasmic pH.


Chlorophyll fluorescence Cyclosis Cytoplasmic pH Localized illumination Long-distance interactions Spatial patterns 



Area of inspection


The maximum chlorophyll fluorescence induced by saturating light pulse under actinic light


Non-photochemical quenching


Photon flux density


Photosystem II



This work was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (Project No. 10-04-00968-a).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© European Biophysical Societies' Association 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexander A. Bulychev
    • 1
  • Anna V. Alova
    • 1
  • Andrey B. Rubin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biophysics, Faculty of BiologyMoscow State UniversityMoscowRussia

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