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The effect of high-energy-state excitation quenching on maximum and dark level chlorophyll fluorescence yield


The quenching of variable fluorescence yield (qN) and the quenching of dark level fluorescence yield (q0) directly atributable to high-energy-state fluorescence quenching (qE) was studied to distinguish between energy dissipation in the antenna and light harvesting complexes (antenna quenching) and energy dissipation at the reaction centres (reaction centre quenching). A consistent relationship was obtained between qN and q0 in barley leaves, the green alga Dunaliella C9AA and in pea thylakoids with 2,3,5,6-tetramethyl-p-phenylene diamine (DAD) as mediator of cyclic electron flow around PS 1. This correlated well with the relationship obtained using m-dinitrobenzene (DNB), a chemical model for antenna quenching, to quench fluorescence in Dunaliella C9AA or pea thylakoids. The results also correlated reasonably well with theoretical predictions by the Butler model for antenna quenching, but did not correlate with the predictions for reaction centre quenching. It is postulated that qE quenching therefore occures in the antenna and light harvesting complexes, and that the small deviation from the Butler prediction is due to PS 2 heterogeneity.

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Ethylenediaminetetra-acetic acid


4-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1-piperazineethanesulphonic acid


2-(N-morpholino) prophanesulfonate

PS 1:

photosystem 1

PS 2:

photosystem 2

QA and QB :

primary and secondary stable electron acceptors of photosystem 2

qN :

non-photochemical fluorescence quenching coefficient

qE :

high-energy-state fluorescence quenching coefficient

q0 :

quenching coefficient for F0

F0 :

dark level fluorescence yield

Fm :

maximum fluorescence yield

Fv :

variable fluorescence yield

Fv/Fm :

ratio of variable to total fluorescence yield


2,3,5,6-tetramethyl-p-phenylene diamine




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Rees, D., Noctor, G.D. & Horton, P. The effect of high-energy-state excitation quenching on maximum and dark level chlorophyll fluorescence yield. Photosynth Res 25, 199–211 (1990).

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  • Reaction Centre
  • Energy Dissipation
  • Chlorophyll Fluorescence
  • Fluorescence Yield
  • Dunaliella