, Volume 54, Issue 1, pp 143–147 | Cite as

Photosynthesis and photoprotection under drought in the annual desert plant Anastatica hierochuntica

Brief Communication


Anastatica hierochuntica is an annual desert plant, which was recently shown to have unusually low nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ) and a high PSII electron transport rate (ETR). In the current study, we examined how these unusual characteristics are related to a lack of CO2 and inhibition of net photosynthetic rate (PN). We compared the photosynthetic and photoprotective response of A. hierochuntica and sunflower (Helianthus annuus), under conditions of photosynthetic inhibition, with either low CO2 or drought. We found that under nonsteady state conditions of low CO2 availability, A. hierochuntica exhibited about half of the NPQ values and almost twice of the ETR values of H. annuus. However, the long-term inhibition of PN under drought caused a similar increase in NPQ and a decrease in ETR in both A. hierochuntica and H. annuus. These results suggest that the unusually low NPQ and high ETR in A. hierochuntica are not directly related to a response to drought conditions.

Additional key words

abiotic stress relative water content stomatal conductance 



photosystem II electron transport rate


stomatal conductance


infrared gas analyzer


nonphotochemical quenching


net photosynthesis


leaf relative water content


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Copyright information

© The Institute of Experimental Botany 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.French Associates Institute for Agriculture and Biotechnology of Drylands, The Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert ResearchBen-Gurion University of the NegevNegevIsrael

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