Main content area

Photosystem II Photoinactivation, Repair, and Protection in Marine Centric Diatoms

Wu, Hongyan, Roy, Suzanne, Alami, Meriem, Green, Beverley R., Campbell, Douglas A.
Plant physiology 2012 v.160 no.1 pp. 464-476
Bacillariophyceae, Coscinodiscus, Thalassiosira, absorption, light intensity, opportunity costs, photochemistry, photosystem II, phytoplankton, primary productivity, protein subunits, temperature
Diatoms are important contributors to aquatic primary production, and can dominate phytoplankton communities under variable light regimes. We grew two marine diatoms, the small Thalassiosira pseudonana and the large Coscinodiscus radiatus , across a range of temperatures and treated them with a light challenge to understand their exploitation of variable light environments. In the smaller T. pseudonana , photosystem II (PSII) photoinactivation outran the clearance of PSII protein subunits, particularly in cells grown at sub- or supraoptimal temperatures. In turn the absorption cross section serving PSII photochemistry was down-regulated in T. pseudonana through induction of a sustained phase of nonphotochemical quenching that relaxed only slowly over 30 min of subsequent low-light incubation. In contrast, in the larger diatom C. radiatus , PSII subunit turnover was sufficient to counteract a lower intrinsic susceptibility to photoinactivation, and C. radiatus thus did not need to induce sustained nonphotochemical quenching under the high-light treatment. T. pseudonana thus incurs an opportunity cost of sustained photosynthetic down-regulation after the end of an upward light shift, whereas the larger C. radiatus can maintain a balanced PSII repair cycle under comparable conditions.