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Survey of the occurrence of desiccation-induced quenching of basal fluorescence in 28 species of green microalgae

Wieners, Paul Christian, Mudimu, Opayi, Bilger, Wolfgang
Planta 2018 v.248 no.3 pp. 601-612
chlorophyll, fluorescence, lichens, microalgae, photoinhibition, screening, surveys
MAIN CONCLUSION: Desiccation-induced chlorophyll fluorescence quenching seems to be an indispensable part of desiccation resistance in the surveyed 28 green microalgal species. Lichens are desiccation tolerant meta-organisms. In the desiccated state photosynthesis is inhibited rendering the photobionts potentially sensitive to photoinhibition. As a photoprotective mechanism, strong non-radiative dissipation of absorbed light leading to quenching of chlorophyll fluorescence has been proposed. Desiccation-induced quenching affects not only variable fluorescence, but also the so-called basal fluorescence, F₀. This phenomenon is well-known for intact lichens and some free living aero-terrestrial algae, but it was often absent in isolated lichen algae. Therefore, a thorough screening for the appearance of desiccation-induced quenching was undertaken with 13 different aero-terrestrial microalgal species and lichen photobionts. They were compared with 15 aquatic green microalgal species, among them also three marine species. We asked the following questions: Do isolated lichen algae show desiccation-induced quenching? Are aero-terrestrial algae different in this respect to aquatic algae and is the potential for desiccation-induced quenching coupled to desiccation tolerance? How variable is desiccation-induced quenching among species? Most of the aero-terrestrial algae, including all lichen photobionts, showed desiccation-induced quenching, although highly variable in extent, whereas most of the aquatic algae did not. All algae displaying quenching were also desiccation tolerant, whereas all algae unable to perform desiccation-induced quenching were desiccation intolerant. Desiccation-induced fluorescence quenching seems to be an indispensable part of desiccation resistance in the investigated species.