Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 67, Issue 1–2, pp 139–145 | Cite as

Photoprotection in a zeaxanthin- and lutein-deficient double mutant of Arabidopsis

  • Krishna K. Niyogi
  • Connie Shih
  • Wah Soon Chow
  • Barry J. Pogson
  • Dean DellaPenna
  • Olle Björkman


When light absorption by a plant exceeds its capacity for light utilization, photosynthetic light harvesting is rapidly downregulated by photoprotective thermal dissipation, which is measured as nonphotochemical quenching of chlorophyll fluorescence (NPQ). To address the involvement of specific xanthophyll pigments in NPQ, we have analyzed mutants affecting xanthophyll metabolism in Arabidopsis thaliana. An npq1 lut2 double mutant was constructed, which lacks both zeaxanthin and lutein due to defects in the violaxanthin de-epoxidase and lycopene ∈-cyclase genes. The npq1 lut2 strain had normal Photosystem II efficiency and nearly wild-type concentrations of functional Photosystem II reaction centers, but the rapidly reversible component of NPQ was completely inhibited. Despite the defects in xanthophyll composition and NPQ, the npq1 lut2 mutant exhibited a remarkable ability to tolerate high light.

lutein nonphotochemical quenching photoprotection xanthophyll cycle zeaxanthin 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Krishna K. Niyogi
    • 1
  • Connie Shih
    • 2
  • Wah Soon Chow
    • 3
  • Barry J. Pogson
    • 4
  • Dean DellaPenna
    • 5
  • Olle Björkman
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Plant and Microbial BiologyUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.Department of Plant BiologyCarnegie Institution of WashingtonStanfordUSA
  3. 3.Research School of Biological SciencesAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia
  4. 4.Division of Biochemistry and Molecular BiologyAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia
  5. 5.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of NevadaRenoUSA

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