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Specific roles of cyclic electron flow around photosystem I in photosynthetic regulation in immature and mature leaves

Wei Huang, Ying-Jie Yang, Shi-Bao Zhang
Journal of plant physiology 2017 v.209 pp. 76-83
Erythrophleum suaveolens, acidification, adenosine triphosphate, energy, leaves, oxidation, photostability, photosystem I, photosystem II, solar radiation, thylakoids
Cyclic electron flow (CEF) around photosystem I (PSI) is essential for photosynthesis in mature leaves. However, the physiological roles of CEF in immature leaves are little known. Here, we measured the PSI and PSII activities, light response changes in PSI and PSII energy quenching for immature and mature leaves of Erythrophleum guineense grown under full sunlight. Comparing with the maximum quantum yield of PSII (Fv/Fm), the immature leaves had much lower values of the maximum photo-oxidizable P700 (Pm) than the mature leaves, suggesting the unsynchronized development of PSI and PSII activities. Furthermore, the immature leaves displayed significantly lower capacities for the photosynthetic electron flow through PSII (ETRII) and CEF. However, when exposed to high light, the immature leaves displayed higher levels of non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) and P700 oxidation ration [Y(ND)] than mature leaves. Under high light, the similar NPQ values were accompanied with much lower CEF activity in the immature leaves. These results suggest that, in immature leaves, CEF primarily contributes to photoprotection for PSI and PSII via acidification of thylakoid lumen. By comparison, in mature leaves, a large fraction of CEF-dependent generation of ΔpH contributes to ATP synthesis and a relative small proportion favors photoprotection via lumen acidification. These findings highlight the specific roles of CEF in photosynthetic regulation in immature and mature leaves.