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Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 117, Issue 1–3, pp 547–556 | Cite as

Age-dependent changes in the functions and compositions of photosynthetic complexes in the thylakoid membranes of Arabidopsis thaliana

  • Krishna Nath
  • Bong-Kwan Phee
  • Suyeong Jeong
  • Sun Yi Lee
  • Yoshio Tateno
  • Suleyman I. Allakhverdiev
  • Choon-Hwan Lee
  • Hong Gil Nam
Regular Paper

Abstract

Photosynthetic complexes in the thylakoid membrane of plant leaves primarily function as energy-harvesting machinery during the growth period. However, leaves undergo developmental and functional transitions along aging and, at the senescence stage, these complexes become major sources for nutrients to be remobilized to other organs such as developing seeds. Here, we investigated age-dependent changes in the functions and compositions of photosynthetic complexes during natural leaf senescence in Arabidopsis thaliana. We found that Chl a/b ratios decreased during the natural leaf senescence along with decrease of the total chlorophyll content. The photosynthetic parameters measured by the chlorophyll fluorescence, photochemical efficiency (F v/F m) of photosystem II, non-photochemical quenching, and the electron transfer rate, showed a differential decline in the senescing part of the leaves. The CO2 assimilation rate and the activity of PSI activity measured from whole senescing leaves remained relatively intact until 28 days of leaf age but declined sharply thereafter. Examination of the behaviors of the individual components in the photosynthetic complex showed that the components on the whole are decreased, but again showed differential decline during leaf senescence. Notably, D1, a PSII reaction center protein, was almost not present but PsaA/B, a PSI reaction center protein is still remained at the senescence stage. Taken together, our results indicate that the compositions and structures of the photosynthetic complexes are differentially utilized at different stages of leaf, but the most dramatic change was observed at the senescence stage, possibly to comply with the physiological states of the senescence process.

Keywords

Arabidopsis thaliana Chl contents and Chl a/b ratio Developmental stage and senescence Nutrient mobilization Photosynthetic performance Photosynthetic complexes and their components 

Abbreviation

BN-PAGE

Blue-native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis

Chl

Chlorophyll

ETR

Electron transport rate

Fv/Fm

Maximum photochemical efficiency of PSII for dark-adapted sample

LHC

Light-harvesting complex

NPQ

Non-photochemical quenching

PAR

Photosynthetically active radiation

PS

Photosystem

RC

Reaction center

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors thank Dr. Sunghyun Hong for providing critical feedback on this manuscript. This study was supported by the Research Center Program of IBS (Institute for Basic Science, No.CA1208) and the National Research Foundation of Korea (The National Honor Scientist Support Program, No.20100020417) funded by the Korea government (MEST) in Korea. SIA was supported by grants from the Russian Foundation for Basic Research and by the Molecular and Cell Biology Programs of the Russian Academy of Sciences. CHL was supported by a grant from the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), funded by MEST (No. 2012-0004968).

Supplementary material

11120_2013_9906_MOESM1_ESM.jpg (138 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (JPEG 137 kb). Suppl. Fig. 1 Light induction curve of ETR and NPQ during successive leaf ages under different intensities of PAR. a. ETR, electron transport rate, b. NPQ, non-photochemical quenching. PAR, photosynthetically active radiation. All measurements were carried out at room temperature. Each measurement was performed with five leaves. The means and standard errors (±SE) from three to five replicates are shown

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Krishna Nath
    • 1
  • Bong-Kwan Phee
    • 1
  • Suyeong Jeong
    • 2
    • 3
  • Sun Yi Lee
    • 4
  • Yoshio Tateno
    • 1
  • Suleyman I. Allakhverdiev
    • 5
    • 6
  • Choon-Hwan Lee
    • 7
  • Hong Gil Nam
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of New BiologyDGISTDaeguRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Molecular and Life SciencePOSTECHPohangRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Academy of New Biology for Plant Senescence and Life HistoryInstitute for Basic ScienceDaejeonRepublic of Korea
  4. 4.Protected Horticulture Research StationNational Institute of Horticultural & Herbal Science, RDABusanRepublic of Korea
  5. 5.Institute of Plant PhysiologyRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  6. 6.Institute of Basic Biological ProblemsRussian Academy of SciencesPushchinoRussia
  7. 7.Department of Molecular BiologyPusan National UniversityBusanRepublic of Korea

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