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Non-photochemical quenching of chlorophyll fluorescence in the green alga Dunaliella


The relaxation of the non-photochemical quenching of chlorophyll fluorescence has been investigated in cells of the green alga Dunaliella following illumination. The relaxation after the addition of DCMU or darkening was strongly biphasic. The uncoupler NH4Cl induced rapid relaxation of both phases, which were therefore both energy-dependent quenching, qE. The proportion of the slow phase of qE increased at increasing light intensity. In the presence of the inhibitors rotenone and antimycin the slow phase of qE was stabilised for in excess of 15 min. NaN3 inhibited the relaxation of almost all the qE. The implications of these results are discussed in terms of the interpretation of the non-photochemical quenching of chlorophyll fluorescence in vivo and the mechanism of qE.

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Photosystem II


photochemical quenching of chlorophyll fluorescence


non-photochemical quenching of chlorophyll fluorescence


energy-dependent quenching of chlorophyll fluorescence

F m :

maximum level of chlorophyll fluorescence for dark adapted cells

F′ m :

level of fluorescence at any time when qQ is zero


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Lee, C.B., Rees, D. & Horton, P. Non-photochemical quenching of chlorophyll fluorescence in the green alga Dunaliella . Photosynth Res 24, 167–173 (1990).

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Key words

  • chlorophyll fluorescence
  • photosynthesis
  • Dunaliella