Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 54, Issue 1, pp 55–62 | Cite as

Repair of UV-B induced damage of Photosystem II via de novo synthesis of the D1 and D2 reaction centre subunits in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803

  • László Sass
  • Cornelia Spetea
  • Zoltán Máté
  • Ferenc Nagy
  • Imre Vass


The repair of ultraviolet-B radiation induced damage to the structure and function of Photosystem II was studied in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. UV-B irradiation of intact Synechocystis cells results in the loss of steady-state oxygen evolution, an effect accompanied by a parallel loss of both D1 and D2 protein subunits of the Photosystem II reaction centre. Transfer of the UV-irradiated cells to normal growth conditions under visible light results in partial recovery of the inhibited oxygen evolving activity and restoration of the lost D1 and D2 proteins. The extent of recovery decreases with increasing degree of damage: after 50% inhibition, the original activity is completely restored within 2 hours. In contrast, after 90–95% inhibition less than half of the original activity is regained during a 4 hour recovery period. The translation inhibitor lincomycin completely blocks the recovery process if added after the UV-B treatment, and accelerates the kinetics of activity loss if added before the onset of UV-B irradiation. Substantial retardation of recovery and acceleration of activity loss is also observed if the very low intensity short wavelength contribution (λ<290 nm) is not filtered out from the UV-B light source. It is concluded that in intact cells UV-B induced damage of the Photosystem II complex can be repaired. This process is the first example of simultaneous D1 and D2 protein repair in Photosystem II, and considered to function as an important defence mechanism against detrimental UV-B effects in oxygenic photosynthetic organisms. De novo synthesis of the D1 and D2 reaction centre subunits is a key step of the repair process, which itself can also be inhibited by ultraviolet light, especially by the short wavelength UV-C components, or by high doses of UV-B.

D1 and D2 proteins PS II Synechocystis 6803 UV-B radiation 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • László Sass
    • 1
  • Cornelia Spetea
    • 1
  • Zoltán Máté
    • 1
  • Ferenc Nagy
    • 1
  • Imre Vass
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Plant Biology, Biological Research CenterSzegedHungary

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