Photosynthetic activities and the redox states of photosystem I (PSI) and photosystem II (PSII) in intact leaves of cucumber plants (Cucumis sativus L.), as well as the sucrose and starch contents were examined under conditions of ongoing soil water deficit imposed by the cessation of watering. As the soil drought progressed, the maximum rate of photosynthetic CO2 fixation was shown to decrease. These changes in the maximum photosynthetic rate occurred synchronously with changes in the maximum quantum yield of photosynthesis. Under soil water deficit, the reduced form of PSII primary acceptor Q A was accumulated only at photon flux densities of about 100 μmol/(m2 s). At such photon flux densities, the changes in nonphotochemical quenching (qN) induced by soil water deficit were opposite to changes in photochemical quenching parameter (1 – qP). Irrespective of the duration of soil drought, the relationship between steady-state concentrations of photochemically inactive reaction centers of PSI and PSII (the fractions of P700 and Q A in the oxidized and reduced state, respectively) was almost linear, which provides evidence for the concerted operation of both photosystems. The conditions of soil water deficit promoted sucrose accumulation in the source leaf, which was paralleled by a substantial decrease in the amount of starch in the same leaf. The highest content of sucrose in the leaf after a 7-day drought was correlated with the largest decrease in photosynthetic activity. It is concluded that the progressive drought triggers an endogenous mechanism that regulates photosynthesis through feedback relations, namely, the inhibition of photosynthesis by its end products.
Russian Journal of Plant Physiology – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 22, 2004
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