[Sitemap] [Contact] [Imprint]

# Photosynthesis Research - Current Research Articles

## Current research articles: Photosynthesis

The author- or copyrights of the listed research articles below are held by the respective authors or site operators, who are also responsible for the content of the presentations.

More current articles from Chemistry Journals same topic: see the navigation menu on the left.

To search this web page for specific words type "Ctrl" + "F" on your keyboard (Command + "F" on a Mac). Then: type the word you are searching for in the window that pops up!

... is an international journal open to papers of merit dealing with both basic and applied aspects of photosynthesis.

# Current articles of the journal:

## Accounting for the decrease of photosystem photochemical efficiency with increasing irradiance to estimate quantum yield of leaf photosynthesis

### Abstract

Maximum quantum yield for leaf CO2 assimilation under limiting light conditions (? CO2LL) is commonly estimated as the slope of the linear regression of net photosynthetic rate against absorbed irradiance over a range of low-irradiance conditions. Methodological errors associated with this estimation have often been attributed either to light absorptance by non-photosynthetic pigments or to some data points being beyond the linear range of the irradiance response, both causing an underestimation of ? CO2LL. We demonstrate here that a decrease in photosystem (PS) photochemical efficiency with increasing irradiance, even at very low levels, is another source of error that causes a systematic underestimation of ? CO2LL. A model method accounting for this error was developed, and was used to estimate ? CO2LL from simultaneous measurements of gas exchange and chlorophyll fluorescence on leaves using various combinations of species, CO2, O2, or leaf temperature levels. The conventional linear regression method under-estimated ? CO2LL by ca. 10–15 %. Differences in the estimated ? CO2LL among measurement conditions were generally accounted for by different levels of photorespiration as described by the Farquhar-von Caemmerer–Berry model. However, our data revealed that the temperature dependence of PSII photochemical efficiency under low light was an additional factor that should be accounted for in the model.

Posted on 1 December 2014 | 1:00 am

## Assessing the poplar photochemical response to high zinc concentrations by image processing and statistical approach

### Abstract

Exposure of plants to high-heavy metals concentration inhibits multiple metabolic processes in plants and leads to an oxidative stress commonly referred as heavy metal ion toxicity. Chlorophyll a fluorescence has enhanced understanding of heavy metal ion action on the photosynthetic system. A rapid and non-invasive technique involving imaging of chlorophyll fluorescence is a useful tool for early detection of plant responses to heavy metal ion toxicity. In this work chlorophyll fluorescence emission and photochemical parameters in plants of Populus x euramericana clone I-214 were investigated by the portable Imaging PAM fluorometer at different days after soil treatment with zinc. Custom software for analysis of the photochemical parameters images has been developed in order to gain a better assessing of the plant performance in response of metal stress. The imaging analysis allowed visualizing heterogeneity in plant response to high zinc concentrations. The heterogeneity of images suggests spatial differences in photochemical activity and changes in the antenna down-regulation.

Posted on 1 December 2014 | 1:00 am

## High correlation between thermotolerance and photosystem II activity in tall fescue

### Abstract

Heat stress affects a broad spectrum of cellular components and metabolism. The objectives of this study were to investigate the behavior of Photosystem II (PSII) in tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb) with various thermotolerance capacities and to broaden our comprehension about the relationship between thermotolerance and PSII function. Heat-tolerant and heat-sensitive accessions were incubated at 24 °C (control) and 46 °C (heat stress) for 5 h. The fluorescence transient curves (OJIP curves), slow Chl fluorescence kinetic, and light response curve were employed to study the behavior of PSII subjected to heat stress. After heat stress, performance index for energy conservation from photons absorbed by PSII antenna until the reduction of PSI acceptors (PITotal), the value of electrons produced per photon (a), and the maximal rate of electron transport (ETRmax) of heat-tolerant accessions were lower than those of heat-sensitive accessions. Relatively lower reactive oxygen species (ROS) contents were detected in heat-tolerant accessions. Simultaneously, there was a significant decline in the quantum yield of photochemical energy conversion in PS II (Y(II)), probability that a PSII Chl molecule functions as reaction center (?RC), and the increase of quantum yield for non-regulated non-photochemical energy loss (Y(NO)) in heat-tolerant accessions. Moreover, a significant inverse correlation between heat tolerance indexes (HTI) and Y(II) was observed. Therefore, maintaining a lower photochemical activity in heat-tolerant accessions could be a crucial strategy to improve their thermotolerance. This finding could be attributed to the structural difference in the reaction center, and for heat-tolerant accessions, it could simultaneously limit energy input into linear electron transport, and dissipate more energy through non-regulated non-photochemical energy loss processes.

Posted on 1 December 2014 | 1:00 am

## Assembly of photosynthetic apparatus in Rhodobacter sphaeroides as revealed by functional assessments at different growth phases and in synchronized and greening cells

### Abstract

The development of photosynthetic membranes of intact cells of Rhodobacter sphaeroides was tracked by light-induced absorption spectroscopy and induction and relaxation of the bacteriochlorophyll fluorescence. Changes in membrane structure were induced by three methods: synchronization of cell growth, adjustment of different growth phases and transfer from aerobic to anaerobic conditions (greening) of the bacteria. While the production of the bacteriochlorophyll and carotenoid pigments and the activation of light harvesting and reaction center complexes showed cell-cycle independent and continuous increase with characteristic lag phases, the accumulation of phospholipids and membrane potential (electrochromism) exhibited stepwise increase controlled by cell division. Cells in the stationary phase of growth demonstrated closer packing and tighter energetic coupling of the photosynthetic units (PSU) than in their early logarithmic stage. The greening resulted in rapid (within 0–4 h) induction of BChl synthesis accompanied with a dominating role for the peripheral light harvesting system (up to LH2/LH1 ~2.5), significantly increased rate (~7·104 s?1) and yield (F v/F max ~0.7) of photochemistry and modest (~2.5-fold) decrease of the rate of electron transfer (~1.5·104 s?1). The results are discussed in frame of a model of sequential assembly of the PSU with emphasis on crowding the LH2 complexes resulting in an increase of the connectivity and yield of light capture on the one hand and increase of hindrance to diffusion of mobile redox agents on the other hand.

Posted on 1 December 2014 | 1:00 am

## Chromophore composition of the phycobiliprotein Cr-PC577 from the cryptophyte Hemiselmis pacifica

### Abstract

The cryptophyte phycocyanin Cr-PC577 from Hemiselmis pacifica is a close relative of Cr-PC612 found in Hemiselmis virescens and Hemiselmis tepida. The two biliproteins differ in that Cr-PC577 lacks the major peak at around 612 nm in the absorption spectrum. Cr-PC577 was thus purified and characterized with respect to its bilin chromophore composition. Like other cryptophyte phycobiliproteins, Cr-PC577 is an (??)(???) heterodimer with phycocyanobilin (PCB) bound to the ?-subunits. While one chromophore of the ?-subunit is also PCB, mass spectrometry identified an additional chromophore with a mass of 585 Da at position ?-Cys-158. This mass can be attributed to either a dihydrobiliverdin (DHBV), mesobiliverdin (MBV), or bilin584 chromophore. The doubly linked bilin at position ?-Cys-50 and ?-Cys-61 could not be identified unequivocally but shares spectral features with DHBV. We found that Cr-PC577 possesses a novel chromophore composition with at least two different chromophores bound to the ?-subunit. Overall, our data contribute to a better understanding of cryptophyte phycobiliproteins and furthermore raise the question on the biosynthetic pathway of cryptophyte chromophores.

Posted on 1 December 2014 | 1:00 am

## Constrained geometric dynamics of the Fenna–Matthews–Olson complex: the role of correlated motion in reducing uncertainty in excitation energy transfer

### Abstract

The trimeric Fenna–Mathews–Olson (FMO) complex of green sulphur bacteria is a well-studied example of a photosynthetic pigment–protein complex, in which the electronic properties of the pigments are modified by the protein environment to promote efficient excitonic energy transfer from antenna complexes to the reaction centres. By a range of simulation methods, many of the electronic properties of the FMO complex can be extracted from knowledge of the static crystal structure. However, the recent observation and analysis of long-lasting quantum dynamics in the FMO complex point to protein dynamics as a key factor in protecting and generating quantum coherence under laboratory conditions. While fast inter- and intra-molecular vibrations have been investigated extensively, the slow, conformational dynamics which effectively determine the optical inhomogeneous broadening of experimental ensembles has received less attention. The following study employs constrained geometric dynamics to study the flexibility in the protein network by efficiently generating the accessible conformational states from the published crystal structure. Statistical and principle component analyses reveal highly correlated low frequency motions between functionally relevant elements, including strong correlations between pigments that are excitonically coupled. Our analysis reveals a hierarchy of structural interactions which enforce these correlated motions, from the level of monomer-monomer interfaces right down to the ?-helices, ?-sheets and pigments. In addition to inducing strong spatial correlations across the conformational ensemble, we find that the overall rigidity of the FMO complex is exceptionally high. We suggest that these observations support the idea of highly correlated inhomogeneous disorder of the electronic excited states, which is further supported by the remarkably low variance (typically <5 %) of the excitonic couplings of the conformational ensemble.

Posted on 1 December 2014 | 1:00 am

## Prasanna K. Mohanty (1934–2013): a great photosynthetiker and a wonderful human being who touched the hearts of many

### Abstract

Prasanna K. Mohanty, a great scientist, a great teacher and above all a great human being, left us more than a year ago (on March 9, 2013). He was a pioneer in the field of photosynthesis research; his contributions are many and wide-ranging. In the words of Jack Myers, he would be a “photosynthetiker” par excellence. He remained deeply engaged with research almost to the end of his life; we believe that generations of researchers still to come will benefit from his thorough and enormous work. We present here his life and some of his contributions to the field of Photosynthesis Research. The response to this tribute was overwhelming and we have included most of the tributes, which we received from all over the world. Prasanna Mohanty was a pioneer in the field of “Light Regulation of Photosynthesis”, a loving and dedicated teacher—unpretentious, idealistic, and an honest human being.

Posted on 1 December 2014 | 1:00 am

## International conference on “photosynthesis research for sustainability-2014: in honor of Vladimir A. Shuvalov”, held on June 2–7, 2014, in Pushchino, Russia

### Abstract

In this article, we provide a News Report on an international conference “Photosynthesis Research for Sustainability-2014” that was held in honor of Vladimir A. Shuvalov at the Biological Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences, in Pushchino, Russia, during June 2–7, 2014 (http://photosynthesis2014.cellreg.org/). We begin this report with a short description of Vladimir A. Shuvalov, the honored scientist. We then provide some information on the conference, and the program. A special feature of this conference was awards given to nine young investigators; they are recognized in this Report. We have also included several photographs to show the pleasant ambiance at this conference. We invite the readers to the next two conferences on ‘‘Photosynthesis Research for Sustainability-2015: the first one to be held in Baku in May or June, 2015, and the second one, which will honor George C. Papageorgiou, will be held in Greece (in Colymbari, near Chania in Crete) during September 21–26, 2015. Information will be posted at: http://photosynthesis2015.cellreg.org/.

Posted on 1 December 2014 | 1:00 am

## Quantifying the effects of light intensity on bioproduction and maintenance energy during photosynthetic growth of Rhodobacter sphaeroides

### Abstract

Obtaining a better understanding of the physiology and bioenergetics of photosynthetic microbes is an important step toward optimizing these systems for light energy capture or production of valuable commodities. In this work, we analyzed the effect of light intensity on bioproduction, biomass formation, and maintenance energy during photoheterotrophic growth of Rhodobacter sphaeroides. Using data obtained from steady-state bioreactors operated at varying dilution rates and light intensities, we found that irradiance had a significant impact on biomass yield and composition, with significant changes in photopigment, phospholipid, and biopolymer storage contents. We also observed a linear relationship between incident light intensity and H2 production rate between 3 and 10 W m?2, with saturation observed at 100 W m?2. The light conversion efficiency to H2 was also higher at lower light intensities. Photosynthetic maintenance energy requirements were also significantly affected by light intensity, with links to differences in biomass composition and the need to maintain redox homeostasis. Inclusion of the measured condition-dependent biomass and maintenance energy parameters and the measured photon uptake rate into a genome-scale metabolic model for R. sphaeroides (iRsp1140) significantly improved its predictive performance. We discuss how our analyses provide new insights into the light-dependent changes in bioenergetic requirements and physiology during photosynthetic growth of R. sphaeroides and potentially other photosynthetic organisms.

Posted on 27 November 2014 | 1:00 am

## Gordon research conference on photosynthesis: from evolution of fundamental mechanisms to radical re-engineering

### Abstract

We provide here a News Report on the 2014 Gordon Research Conference on Photosynthesis, with the subtitle “From Evolution of Fundamental Mechanisms to Radical Re-Engineering.” It was held at Mount Snow Resort, West Dover, Vermont, during August 10–15, 2014. After the formal sessions ended, four young scientists (Ute Ambruster of USA; Han Bao of USA; Nicoletta Liguori of the Netherlands; and Anat Shperberg-Avni of Israel) were recognized for their research; they each received a book from one of us (G) in memory of Colin A. Wraight (1945–2014), a brilliant and admired scientist who had been very active in the bioenergetics field in general and in past Gordon Conferences in particular, having chaired the 1988 Gordon Conference on Photosynthesis. (See an article on Wraight by one of us (Govindjee) at http://www.life.illinois.edu/plantbio/Features/ColinWraight/ColinWraight.html.)

Posted on 26 November 2014 | 1:00 am

## Bioinformatic analysis of the distribution of inorganic carbon transporters and prospective targets for bioengineering to increase C i uptake by cyanobacteria

### Abstract

Cyanobacteria have evolved a carbon-concentrating mechanism (CCM) which has enabled them to inhabit diverse environments encompassing a range of inorganic carbon (Ci: $${\text{HCO}}_{3}^{ - }$$ and CO2) concentrations. Several uptake systems facilitate inorganic carbon accumulation in the cell, which can in turn be fixed by ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase. Here we survey the distribution of genes encoding known Ci uptake systems in cyanobacterial genomes and, using a pfam- and gene context-based approach, identify in the marine (alpha) cyanobacteria a heretofore unrecognized number of putative counterparts to the well-known Ci transporters of beta cyanobacteria. In addition, our analysis shows that there is a huge repertoire of transport systems in cyanobacteria of unknown function, many with homology to characterized Ci transporters. These can be viewed as prospective targets for conversion into ancillary Ci transporters through bioengineering. Increasing intracellular Ci concentration coupled with efforts to increase carbon fixation will be beneficial for the downstream conversion of fixed carbon into value-added products including biofuels. In addition to CCM transporter homologs, we also survey the occurrence of rhodopsin homologs in cyanobacteria, including bacteriorhodopsin, a class of retinal-binding, light-activated proton pumps. Because they are light driven and because of the apparent ease of altering their ion selectivity, we use this as an example of re-purposing an endogenous transporter for the augmentation of Ci uptake by cyanobacteria and potentially chloroplasts.

Posted on 16 November 2014 | 1:00 am

## Shedding new light on viral photosynthesis

### Abstract

Viruses infecting the environmentally important marine cyanobacteria Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus encode ‘auxiliary metabolic genes’ (AMGs) involved in the light and dark reactions of photosynthesis. Here, we discuss progress on the inventory of such AMGs in the ever-increasing number of viral genome sequences as well as in metagenomic datasets. We contextualise these gene acquisitions with reference to a hypothesised fitness gain to the phage. We also report new evidence with regard to the sequence and predicted structural properties of viral petE genes encoding the soluble electron carrier plastocyanin. Viral copies of PetE exhibit extensive modifications to the N-terminal signal peptide and possess several novel residues in a region responsible for interaction with redox partners. We also highlight potential knowledge gaps in this field and discuss future opportunities to discover novel phage–host interactions involved in the photosynthetic process.

Posted on 9 November 2014 | 1:00 am

## Andrew Benson honored on birthday ? 97

### Abstract

We present a brief account of the 97th birthday celebration of Andrew A. Benson, a scientific legend who is known, among other contributions, for his pioneering work on the path of carbon in photosynthesis (the Calvin-Benson cycle).

Posted on 6 November 2014 | 1:00 am

## Live-cell imaging of cyanobacteria

### Abstract

Cyanobacteria are a diverse bacterial phylum whose members possess a high degree of ultrastructural organization and unique gene regulatory mechanisms. Unraveling this complexity will require the use of live-cell fluorescence microscopy, but is impeded by the inherent fluorescent background associated with light-harvesting pigments and the need to feed photosynthetic cells light. Here, we outline a roadmap for overcoming these challenges. Specifically, we show that although basic cyanobacterial biology creates challenging experimental constraints, these restrictions can be mitigated by the careful choice of fluorophores and microscope instrumentation. Many of these choices are motivated by recent successful live-cell studies. We therefore also highlight how live-cell imaging has advanced our understanding of bacterial microcompartments, circadian rhythm, and the organization and segregation of the bacterial nucleoid.

Posted on 4 November 2014 | 1:00 am

## Photorespiration and nitrate assimilation: a major intersection between plant carbon and nitrogen

### Abstract

C3 carbon fixation has a bad reputation, primarily because it is associated with photorespiration, a biochemical pathway thought to waste a substantial amount of the carbohydrate produced in a plant. This review presents evidence collected over nearly a century that (1) Rubisco when associated with Mn2+ generates additional reductant during photorespiration, (2) this reductant participates in the assimilation of nitrate into protein, and (3) this nitrate assimilation facilitates the use of a nitrogen source that other organisms tend to avoid. This phenomenon explains the continued dominance of C3 plants during the past 23 million years of low CO2 atmospheres as well as the decline in plant protein concentrations as atmospheric CO2 rises.

Posted on 4 November 2014 | 1:00 am

## Effect of surfactants on apparent oxygen consumption of photosystem I isolated from Arthrospira platensis

### Abstract

Surfactants play a significant role in solubilization of photosystem I (PSI) in vitro. Triton X-100 (TX), n-Dodecyl-?-d-maltoside (DDM), and sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) were employed to solubilize PSI particles in MES buffer to compare the effect of surfactant and its dosage on the apparent oxygen consumption rate of PSI. Through a combined assessment of sucrose density gradient centrifugation, Native PAGE and 77 K fluorescence with the apparent oxygen consumption, the nature of the enhancement of the apparent oxygen consumption activity of PSI by surfactants has been analyzed. Aggregated PSI particles can be dispersed by surfactant molecules into micelles, and the apparent oxygen consumption rate is higher for surfactant-solubilized PSI than for integral PSI particles. For DDM, PSI particles are solubilized mostly as the integral trimeric form. For TX, PSI particles are solubilized as incomplete trimeric and some monomeric forms. For the much harsher surfactant, SDS, PSI particles are completely solubilized as monomeric and its subunit forms. The enhancement of the oxygen consumption rate cannot be explained only by the effects of surfactant on the equilibrium between monomeric and trimeric forms of solubililized PSI. Care must be taken when the electron transfer activity of PSI is evaluated by methods based on oxygen consumption because the apparent oxygen consumption rate is influenced by uncoupled chlorophyll (Chl) from PSI, i.e., the larger the amount of uncoupled Chl, the higher the rate of apparent oxygen consumption. 77 K fluorescence spectra can be used to ensure that there is no uncoupled Chl present in the system. In order to eliminate the effect of trace uncoupled Chl, an efficient physical quencher of 1O2, such as 1 mM NaN3, may be added into the mixture.

Posted on 1 November 2014 | 1:00 am

## Alexander V. Ruban: The photosynthetic membrane: Molecular mechanisms and biophysics of light harvesting

Posted on 1 November 2014 | 1:00 am

## Mitochondrial electron transport protects floating leaves of long leaf pondweed ( Potamogeton nodosus Poir) against photoinhibition: comparison with submerged leaves

### Abstract

Investigations were carried to unravel mechanism(s) for higher tolerance of floating over submerged leaves of long leaf pondweed (Potamogeton nodosus Poir) against photoinhibition. Chloroplasts from floating leaves showed ~5- and ~6.4-fold higher Photosystem (PS) I (reduced dichlorophenol-indophenol ? methyl viologen ? O2) and PS II (H2O ? parabenzoquine) activities over those from submerged leaves. The saturating rate (V max) of PS II activity of chloroplasts from floating and submerged leaves reached at ~600 and ~230 µmol photons m?2 s?1, respectively. Photosynthetic electron transport rate in floating leaves was over 5-fold higher than in submerged leaves. Further, floating leaves, as compared to submerged leaves, showed higher F v/F m (variable to maximum chlorophyll fluorescence, a reflection of PS II efficiency), as well as a higher potential to withstand photoinhibitory damage by high light (1,200 µmol photons m?2 s?1). Cells of floating leaves had not only higher mitochondria to chloroplast ratio, but also showed many mitochondria in close vicinity of chloroplasts. Electron transport (NADH ? O2; succinate ? O2) in isolated mitochondria of floating leaves was sensitive to both cyanide (CN?) and salicylhydroxamic acid (SHAM), whereas those in submerged leaves were sensitive to CN?, but virtually insensitive to SHAM, revealing the presence of alternative oxidase in mitochondria of floating, but not of submerged, leaves. Further, the potential of floating leaves to withstand photoinhibitory damage was significantly reduced in the presence of CN? and SHAM, individually and in combination. Our experimental results establish that floating leaves possess better photosynthetic efficiency and capacity to withstand photoinhibition compared to submerged leaves; and mitochondria play a pivotal role in protecting photosynthetic machinery of floating leaves against photoinhibition, most likely by oxidation of NAD(P)H and reduction of O2.

Posted on 1 November 2014 | 1:00 am

## Production of ketocarotenoids in tobacco alters the photosynthetic efficiency by reducing photosystem II supercomplex and LHCII trimer stability

### Abstract

The consequences of ketocarotenoid production in transgenic tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) plants expressing a Chlamydomonas reinhardtii gene encoding a ?-carotene ketolase were examined concerning the functionality of the photosynthetic apparatus. T1 plants produced less photosynthetic pigments per dry weight, but Chl a/Chl b ratios remained unchanged. Almost as much ketocarotenoids as accessory xanthophylls accumulated per Chl a molecule. These ketocarotenoids were found mainly in the thylakoid membranes, but were not functionally bound to light-harvesting complexes, although LHCII is known to be able to bind astaxanthin. On the contrary, high amounts of ketocarotenoids probably changed the properties of the lipid phase of the thylakoids, thereby reducing the stability of photosystem II supercomplexes and LHCII trimers and ultimately decreasing grana formation. In addition, photosystem II function in electron transport was impaired, and plants exhibited less non-photochemical quenching compared to wild-type plants. Thus, in order not to disturb vital functions of the plants, production of astaxanthin and other nutritionally valuable ketocarotenoids apparently requires ways to sequester the additional carotenoids to plastoglobuli.

Posted on 1 November 2014 | 1:00 am

## Brassica napus responses to short-term excessive copper treatment with decrease of photosynthetic pigments, differential expression of heavy metal homeostasis genes including activation of gene NRAMP4 involved in photosystem II stabilization

### Abstract

In the present study, the influence of 50 and 100 µM CuSO4 was investigated starting from 3 h till 72 h treatment of 4-weeks Brassica napus plants. High CuSO4 concentrations in nutrient medium resulted in the rapid copper accumulation in plants, especially in roots, much slower and to lower degree in leaves. Copper excess induced early decrease in the leaf water content and temporary leaf wilting. The decrease in content of photosynthetic pigments became significant to 24 h of excessive copper treatments and reached 35 % decrease to 72 h, but there were no significant changes in maximum quantum efficiency of photosystem II photochemistry. The copper excess affected the expression of ten genes involved in heavy metal homeostasis and copper detoxification. The results showed the differential and organ-specific expression of most genes. The potential roles of copper-activated genes encoding heavy metal transporters (ZIP5, NRAMP4, YSL2, and MRP1), metallothioneins (MT1a and MT2b), low-molecular chelator synthesis enzymes (PCS1 and NAS2), and metallochaperones (CCS and HIPP06) in heavy metal homeostasis and copper ion detoxification were discussed. The highest increase in gene expression was shown for NRAMP4 in leaves in spite of relatively moderate Cu accumulation there. The opinion was advanced that the NRAMP4 activation can be considered among the early reactions in the defense of the photosystem II against copper excess.

Posted on 1 November 2014 | 1:00 am