The light-induced rise in chlorophyll fluorescence and the subsequent decay of fluorescence in darkness were measured in barley and maize leaves exposed to heat treatment. The redox conversions of the photosystem I primary donor P700, induced by far-red light, were also monitored from the absorbance changes at 830 nm. After heating of leaves at temperatures above 40°C, the ratio of variable and maximum fluorescence decreased for leaves of both plant species, indicating the inhibition of photosystem II (PSII) activity. A twofold reduction of this ratio in barley and maize leaves was observed after heating at 45.3 and 48.1°C, respectively, which suggests the higher functional resistance of PSII in maize. The amplitude of the slow phase in the dark relaxation of variable fluorescence did not change after the treatment of barley and maize leaves at temperatures up to 48°C. In leaves treated at 42 and 46°C, the slow phase of dark relaxation deviated from an exponential curve. The relaxation kinetics included a temporary increase in fluorescence to a peak about 1 s after turning off the actinic light. Unlike the slow component, the fast and intermediate phases in the dark relaxation of variable fluorescence disappeared fully or partly after the treatment of leaves at 46°C. The photooxidation of P700 in heat-treated leaves was saturated at much higher irradiances of far-red light than in untreated leaves. At the same time, the dark reduction of P700+ was substantially accelerated after heat treatment. The data provide evidence that the heating of leaves stimulated the alternative pathways of electron transport, i.e., cyclic transport around photosystem I and/or the donation of electrons to the plastoquinone pool from the reduced compounds located in the chloroplast stroma. The rate of alternative electron transport after the heat treatment was higher in maize leaves than in barley leaves. It is supposed that the stimulation of alternative electron transport, associated with proton pumping into the thylakoid, represents a protective mechanism that prevents the photoinhibition of PSII in leaves upon a strong suppression of linear electron transport in chloroplasts exposed to heat treatment.
Russian Journal of Plant Physiology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 13, 2004
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