, Volume 52, Issue 2, pp 281–287 | Cite as

Specific photosynthetic and morphological characteristics allow macroalgae Gloiopeltis furcata (Rhodophyta) to survive in unfavorable conditions

  • L. Huan
  • S. Gao
  • X. J. Xie
  • W. R. Tao
  • G. H. Pan
  • B. Y. Zhang
  • J. F. Niu
  • A. P. Lin
  • L. W. He
  • G. C. Wang


Gloiopeltis furcata (Postels & Ruprecht) J. Agardh, a macroalga, which grows in an upper, intertidal zone, can withstand drastic environmental changes caused by the periodic tides. In this study, the photosynthetic and morphological characteristics of G. furcata were investigated. The photosynthetic performance and electron flows of the thalli showed significant variations in response to desiccation and salinity compared with the control group. Both PSII and PSI activities declined gradually when the thalli were under stress. However, the electron transport rate of PSI showed still a low value during severe conditions, while the rate of PSII approached zero. Furthermore, PSI activity of the treated thalli recovered faster than PSII after being submerged in seawater. Even though the linear electron flow was inhibited by DCMU [3-(3, 4-dichlorophenyl)-1,1-dimethylurea], the cyclic electron flow could still be restored. The rate of cyclic electron flow recovery declined with the increasing time of dark treatment, which suggested that stromal reductants from starch degradation played an important role in the donation of electrons to PSI. This study demonstrated that PSII was more sensitive than PSI to desiccation and salinity in G. furcata and that the cyclic electron flow around PSI played a significant physiological role. In addition, G. furcata had branches, which were hollow inside and contained considerable quantities of funoran. These might be the most important factors in allowing G. furcata to adapt to adverse intertidal environments.

Additional key words

cyclic electron flow desiccation Dual-PAM morphology salinity 



absolute water content






electron transport rate


ferredoxin-NADP+ reductase


minimum fluorescence


maximum quantum yield of PSII


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Copyright information

© The Institute of Experimental Botany 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Huan
    • 1
    • 2
  • S. Gao
    • 1
    • 2
  • X. J. Xie
    • 3
  • W. R. Tao
    • 3
  • G. H. Pan
    • 3
  • B. Y. Zhang
    • 1
  • J. F. Niu
    • 1
  • A. P. Lin
    • 1
  • L. W. He
    • 1
  • G. C. Wang
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of OceanologyChinese Academy of SciencesQingdaoChina
  2. 2.College of Earth SciencesUniversity of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Tianjin Key Laboratory of Marine Resources and Chemistry, College of Marine Science and EngineeringTianjin University of Science and TechnologyTianjinChina

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