, Volume 54, Issue 3, pp 414–421 | Cite as

Effects of drought stress on fluorescence characteristics of photosystem II in leaves of Plectranthus scutellarioides

  • L.-L. Meng
  • J.-F. Song
  • J. Wen
  • J. Zhang
  • J.-H. Wei
Original papers


Drought stress has multiple effects on the photosynthetic apparatus. Herein, we aimed to study the effect of drought stress on fluorescence characteristics of PSII in leaves of Plectranthus scutellarioides and explore potentially underlying mechanisms. Plants of P. scutellarioides were grown in a greenhouse and subjected to drought (DS, drought-stressed) or daily irrigation (control group). Leaf chlorophyll (Chl) index and induction kinetics curves of Chl a fluorescence and the JIP-test were used to evaluate effects of drought lasting for 20 d. Our results showed that both the leaf and soil relative water content decreased with increasing treatment duration. The leaf Chl index was reduced to half in the DS plants compared with the control group after 20 d. The minimal fluorescence in the DS plants was higher than that in the control plants after 10 d of the treatment. Maximum photochemical efficiency and lateral reactivity decreased with increasing treatment duration in the DS plants. With the continuing treatment, values of absorption flux per reaction center (RC), trapped energy flux per RC, dissipated energy flux per RC, and electron transport flux per RC increased in the earlier stage in the DS plants, while obviously decreased at the later stage of the treatment. In conclusion, drought stress inhibited the electron transport and reduced PSII photochemical activity in leaves of P. scutellarioides.

Additional key words

Coleus electron transport fluorescence transient performance index photoinhibition 



quantum yield of electron transport


day of treatment


trapped energy flux per reaction center


dry mass




absorption flux per reaction center


minimal recorded fluorescence intensity when all PSII reaction centers are open


fresh mass


fluorescence intensity at t time


leaf relative water content


approximated initial slope of the fluorescence transient


oxygen evolving complex


dissipated energy flux per reaction center




primary quinone acceptor


secondary quinone acceptor


electron transport flux per reaction center


reaction centers


normalized total complementary area above the OJIP transient


soil water content


turgid mass


quantum yield of dissipation


relative variable fluorescence intensity at the J-step


relative variable fluorescence for the normalization between F0 and FJ


relative variable fluorescence for the normalization between F0 and F300µs


lateral reactivity of PSII.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Akhkha A.: The effect of water stress on photosynthesis, respiration and relative chlorophyll index of the desert plant Calotropis procera.–Asian Biosci. Biotechnol. Res. 6: 653–658, 2009.Google Scholar
  2. Akhkha A., Boutraa T., Alhejely A: The rates of photosynthesis, chlorophyll content, dark respiration, proline and abscicic acid (ABA) in wheat (Triticum durum) under water deficit conditions.–Int. J. Agric. Biol. 13: 215–221, 2011.Google Scholar
  3. Appenroth K.J., Keresztes A., Sárvári E. et al.: Multiple effects of chromate on Spirodela polyrhiza: electron microscopy and biochemical investigations.–Plant. Biol. 5: 315–323, 2003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ashraf M., Foolad M.: Roles of glycine betaine and proline in improving plant abiotic stress resistance.–Environ. Exp. Bot. 59: 206–216, 2007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Baker N.R.: Chlorophyll fluorescence: a probe of photosynthesis in vivo.–Annu. Rev. Plant. Biol. 59: 89–113, 2008.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Centritto M., Loreto F., Chartzoulakis K.: The use of low [CO2] to estimate diffusional and non-diffusional limitations of photosynthetic capacity of salt-stressed olive saplings.–Plant. Cell. Environ. 26: 585–594, 2003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Daie J.: C4 grasses and cereals: Growth, development, and stress response.–Soil Sci. 142: 242, 1986.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Ekmekci Y., Bohms A., Thomson J.A. et al.: Photochemical and antioxidant responses in the leaves of Xerophyta viscosa Baker and Digitaria sanguinalis L. under water deficit.–Z. Naturforsch. 60: 435–443, 2005.Google Scholar
  9. Flower D., Ludlow M.: Contribution of osmotic adjustment to the dehydration tolerance of water-stressed pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan (L.) millsp.) leaves.–Plant. Cell. Environ. 9: 33–40, 1986.Google Scholar
  10. Genty B., Briantais J.M., Baker N.R.: The relationship between the quantum yield of photosynthetic electron transport and quenching of chlorophyll fluorescence.–Biochim. Biophys. Acta 990: 87–92, 1989.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Komura M., Yamagishi A., Shibata Y. et al.: Mechanism of strong quenching of photosystem II chlorophyll fluorescence under drought stress in a lichen, Physciella melanchla, studied by subpicosecond fluorescence spectroscopy.–BBA-Bioenergetics 1797: 331–338, 2010.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Lawlor D., Cornic G.: Photosynthetic carbon assimilation and associated metabolism in relation to water deficits in higher plants.–Plant Cell Environ. 25: 275–294, 2002.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Lazár D., Nauš J.: Statistical properties of chlorophyll fluorescence induction parameters.–Photosynthetica 35: 121–127, 1998.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Logan B.A.: Chlorophyll a fluorescence: a signature of photosynthesis.–J. Torrey. Bot. Soc. 132: 650–652, 2005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Longenberger P.S., Smith C., Duke S. et al.: Evaluation of chlorophyll fluorescence as a tool for the identification of drought tolerance in upland cotton.–Euphytica 166: 25–33, 2009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Monneveux P., Pastenes C., Reynolds M.P.: Limitations to photosynthesis under light and heat stress in three high-yielding wheat genotypes.–J. Plant Physiol. 160: 657–666, 2003.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Oukarroum A., Schansker G., Strasser R.J.: Drought stress effects on photosystem I content and photosystem II thermotolerance analyzed using Chl a fluorescence kinetics in barley varieties differing in their drought tolerance.–Physiol. Plantarum 137: 188–199, 2009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Oukarroum A., Madidi S.E., Schansker G. et al.: Probing the responses of barley cultivars (Hordeum vulgare L.) by chlorophyll a fluorescence OLKJIP under drought stress and re-watering.–Environ. Exp. Bot. 60: 438–446, 2007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ranjbarfordoei A., Samson R., Lemeur R. et al.: Effects of osmotic drought stress induced by a combination of NaCl and polyethylene glycol on leaf water status, photosynthetic gas exchange, and water use efficiency of Pistacia khinjuk and P. mutica.–Photosynthetica 40: 165–169, 2002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Shao H.B., Chu L.Y., Jaleel C.A. et al.: Understanding water deficit stress-induced changes in the basic metabolism of higher plants-biotechnologically and sustainably improving agriculture and the ecoenvironment in arid regions of the globe.–Crit. Rev. Biotechnol. 29: 131–151, 2009.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Souza R., Machado E., Silva J. et al.: Photosynthetic gas exchange, chlorophyll fluorescence and some associated metabolic changes in cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) during water stress and recovery.–Environ. Exp. Bot. 51: 45–56, 2004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Sperdouli I., Moustakas M.: Interaction of proline, sugars, and anthocyanins during photosynthetic acclimation of Arabidopsis thaliana to drought stress.–J. Plant Physiol. 169: 577–585, 2012.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Strasser B.J., Strasser R.J.: Measuring fast fluorescence transients to address environmental questions: the JIP-test.–In: Mathis P. (ed.): Photosynthesis: From Light to Biosphere. Pp. 977–980. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht 1995.Google Scholar
  24. Strasser R.J., Tsimilli-Michael M., Srivastava A.: Analysis of the chlorophyll a fluorescence transient.–In: Papageorgiou G.C., Govindjee (ed.): Chlorophyll a Fluorescence. Advances in Photosynthesis and Respiration. Pp. 321–362. Springer, Dordrecht 2004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Strasser R.J., Srivastava A.: Polyphasic chlorophyll a fluorescence transient in plants and cyanobacteria.–Photochem. Photobiol. 61: 32–42, 1995.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Terzi R., Saglam A., Kutlu N. et al.: Impact of soil drought stress on photochemical efficiency of photosystem II and antioxidant enzyme activities of Phaseolus vulgaris cultivars.–Turk. J. Bot. 34: 1–10, 2010.Google Scholar
  27. van Heerden P.D., Strasser R.J., Krüger G.H.: Reduction of dark chilling stress in N2-fixing soybean by nitrate as indicated by chlorophyll a fluorescence kinetics.–Physiol. Plantarum 121: 239–249, 2004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Wei X., Chen G., Shi D. et al.: Effects of drought on fluorescence characteristics of photosystem II in leaves of Ginkgo biloba.–Acta Ecol. Sinica 32: 7492–7500, 2012.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Zhang S.R.: [A discussion on chlorophyll fluorescence kinetics parameters and their significance.]–Chinese B. Bot. 16: 444–448, 1999.[In Chinese]Google Scholar
  30. Zhou H.G., Wang W.T.: [Classification of Coleus cultivars and their application in landscape.]–Guangdong Landsc. Archit. 3: 57–61, 2011.[In Chinese]Google Scholar
  31. Zushi K., Matsuzoe N., Kitano M.: Developmental and tissuespecific changes in oxidative parameters and antioxidant systems in tomato fruits grown under salt stress.–Sci. Hortic.-Amsterdam 122: 362–368, 2009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Institute of Experimental Botany 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • L.-L. Meng
    • 1
  • J.-F. Song
    • 2
  • J. Wen
    • 3
  • J. Zhang
    • 4
  • J.-H. Wei
    • 5
  1. 1.Institute of Agricultural Facilities and EquipmentJiangsu Academy of Agricultural SciencesNanjing, Jiangsu ProvinceChina
  2. 2.Institute of Farm Product ProcessingJiangsu Academy of Agricultural SciencesNanjing, Jiangsu ProvinceChina
  3. 3.Institute of HorticultureJiangsu Academy of Agricultural SciencesNanjing, Jiangsu ProvinceChina
  4. 4.Institute of Vegetable CropsJiangsu Academy of Agricultural SciencesNanjing, Jiangsu ProvinceChina
  5. 5.Science and Technology IndustryJiangsu Academy of Agricultural SciencesNanjing, Jiangsu ProvinceChina

Personalised recommendations