, Volume 52, Issue 4, pp 538–547 | Cite as

Changes in photosynthesis, pigment composition and glutathione contents in two Antarctic lichens during a light stress and recovery

  • K. Balarinová
  • M. Barták
  • J. Hazdrová
  • J. Hájek
  • J. Jílková
Original Papers


Over last decades, several studies have been focused on short-term high light stress in lichens under laboratory conditions. Such studies reported a strong photoinhibition of photosynthesis accompanied by a partial photodestruction of PSII, involvement of photoprotective mechanisms, and resynthetic processes into gradual recovery. In our paper, we applied medium [800 μmol(photon) m−2 s−1] light stress to induce negative changes in PSII funcioning as well as pigment and glutathione (GSH) content in two Antarctic fruticose lichen species. Chlorophyll (Chl) fluorescence parameters, such as potential and effective quantum yield of photosynthetic processes and fast transients (OJIP) recorded during high light exposition and recovery, revealed that Usnea antarctica was less susceptible to photoinhibition than U. aurantiaco-atra. This might be supported by a more pronounced high light-induced reduction in Chl a and b contents in U. aurantiaco-atra compared with U. antarctica. In both experimental species, total GSH showed an initial increase during the first 30–40 min of high light treatment followed by a decrease (60 min) and an increase during dark recovery. Full GSH recovery, however, was not finished in U. aurantiaco-atra even after 5 h indicating lower capacity of photoprotective mechanisms in the species. OJIP curves showed high light-induced decrease in both species, however, the recovery of the OJIPs shape to pre-photoinhibitory values was faster and more apparent in U. antarctica than in U. aurantiaco-atra. The results are discussed in terms of sensitivity of the two species to photoinhibition and their photosynthetic performance in natural environment.

Additional key words

carotenoids chlorophyll fluorescence performance index thallus 



absorption of light energy per reaction centre


dry mass


photosynthetic electron transport rate per reaction centre




potential quantum yield of PSII




glutathione, oxidized form


fast chlorophyll fluorescence transients

PI Abs

performance index


reactive oxygen species


trapping rate per reaction centre


effective quantum yield of PSII


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Copyright information

© The Institute of Experimental Botany 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Balarinová
    • 1
  • M. Barták
    • 1
  • J. Hazdrová
    • 1
  • J. Hájek
    • 1
  • J. Jílková
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Science, Department of Experimental Biology, Laboratory of Photosynthetic ProcessesMasaryk UniversityBrnoCzech Republic

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