Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 135, Issue 1–3, pp 263–274 | Cite as

High light acclimation of Chromera velia points to photoprotective NPQ

  • Erica BelgioEmail author
  • Eliška Trsková
  • Eva Kotabová
  • Daniela Ewe
  • Ondřej Prášil
  • Radek Kaňa
Original Article


It has previously been shown that the long-term treatment of Arabidopsis thaliana with the chloroplast inhibitor lincomycin leads to photosynthetic membranes enriched in antennas, strongly reduced in photosystem II reaction centers (PSII) and with enhanced nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ) (Belgio et al. Biophys J 102:2761–2771, 2012). Here, a similar physiological response was found in the microalga Chromera velia grown under high light (HL). In comparison to cells acclimated to low light, HL cells displayed a severe re-organization of the photosynthetic membrane characterized by (1) a reduction of PSII but similar antenna content; (2) partial uncoupling of antennas from PSII; (3) enhanced NPQ. The decrease in the number of PSII represents a rather unusual acclimation response compared to other phototrophs, where a smaller PSII antenna size is more commonly found under high light. Despite the diminished PSII content, no net damage could be detected on the basis of the Photosynthesis versus irradiance curve and electron transport rates pointing at the excess capacity of PSII. We therefore concluded that the photoinhibition is minimized under high light by a lower PSII content and that cells are protected by NPQ in the antennas.


Nonphotochemical quenching Photoinhibition Chromera velia alga High light acclimation Uncoupling of antennas from Photosystem II. 



Nonphotochemical quenching


Photosystem II reaction centers


High light


Low light


Trans-thylakoid membrane proton gradient


Variable fluorescence


Maximum fluorescence


Maximal photosynthetic rate or photosynthetic capacity




Fast repetition rate fluorescence


Electron transport rates


Effective antenna size of PSII


Photosynthetic limiting light


Light intensity where photosynthetic saturation starts


n-Dodecyl α-d-maltoside


De-epoxidation state



The authors thank Dr. Martina Bečková and Ms. Lenka Moravcová for excellent technical help with electrophoresis and Dr. E. Lawrenz for useful discussions. This research project was supported by the Institutional project Algatech Plus (MSMT LO1416) from the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport. The work of E.B. and E.T. was further supported by The Czech Science Foundation GAČR (Grantová agentura České republiky): 16-10088S granted to R.K and 17-02363Y granted to E.B; GAJU 014/2016/P was granted to E.T.

Supplementary material

11120_2017_385_MOESM1_ESM.pptx (4.1 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PPTX 4224 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erica Belgio
    • 1
    Email author
  • Eliška Trsková
    • 1
    • 2
  • Eva Kotabová
    • 1
  • Daniela Ewe
    • 1
  • Ondřej Prášil
    • 1
    • 2
  • Radek Kaňa
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre Algatech, Institute of MicrobiologyAcademy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicTřeboňCzech Republic
  2. 2.Faculty of ScienceUniversity of South BohemiaCzech BudejoviceCzech Republic

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