Journal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes

, Volume 45, Issue 6, pp 551–559 | Cite as

Formation of superoxide anion and carbon-centered radicals by photosystem II under high light and heat stress—EPR spin-trapping study

  • Arjun Tiwari
  • Marek Rác
  • Pavel Pospíšil


In this study, electron paramagnetic resonance spin-trapping spectroscopy was used to study the light-induced production of superoxide anion (O2 •-) and carbon-centered (R) radicals by Photosystem II (PSII). It is evidenced here that exposure of PSII membranes to high light (2,000 μmol photons m−2 s−1) or heat (47 °C) treatments prior to the illumination suppressed O2 •- production, while R was formed. Formation of R in the both high light- and heat-treated PSII membranes was enhanced by DCMU. Removal of molecular oxygen by glucose/glucose oxidase/catalase system and O2 •- scavenging by exogenous superoxide dismutase completely suppressed carbon-centered radical formation. It is proposed here that the oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids and amino acids by O2 •- on the electron acceptor side of PSII results in the formation of R, known to initiate a cascade reaction leading to the lipid peroxidation and protein degradation, respectively.


Heat stress Photoinhibition Photosystem II Reactive oxygen species Redox potential 


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biophysics, Centre of the Region Haná for Biotechnological and Agricultural Research, Faculty of SciencePalacký UniversityOlomoucCzech Republic

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