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Metabolic control of photosynthetic electron transport in crassulacean acid metabolism-induced Mesembryanthemum crystallinum


Schöttler,  M. A.
Photosynthesis Research, Department Bock, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Max Planck Society;

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Schöttler, M. A., Kirchhoff, H., Siebke, K., & Weis, E. (2002). Metabolic control of photosynthetic electron transport in crassulacean acid metabolism-induced Mesembryanthemum crystallinum. In 3rd International Congress on Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (pp. 697-705).

We investigated photosynthetic electron transport in leaves of the facultative crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) plant Mesembryanthemum crystallinum L. After CAM induction, electron transport exhibited variable redox kinetics during the diurnal CAM cycle. In CAM Phase IV, most of PSI (P-700) and chlorophyll a fluorescence relaxed with a halftime of 20 ms after a saturating light pulse. This time-constant may reflect the overall linear electron flux from PSII to PSI in saturating light. Comparable relaxation kinetics were also determined for C-3 plants. At the end of CAM Phase I and during Phase II, slow components (> 50% of signal amplitude) appeared in both P-700 reduction and fluorescence relaxation. They displayed halftimes > 250 ms and > 1 s, suggesting a strong restriction of the linear electron flux from H2O to NADP. The appearance of the slow redox components was accompanied by a decrease in the F-v/F-m ratio of chlorophyll a fluorescence, suggesting a reversible detachment of light-harvesting complex (LHC) II from PSII. The slow redox fractions and the depression of F-v/F-m disappeared again in parallel to malate decarboxylation during CAM Phase III. We discuss a reversible downregulation of linear electron flux during CAM Phases II and III, due to a reversible deprivation of cytochrome-b(6)f complexes (cyt-bfs) and PSI from the linear system. In parallel, a redistribution of some LHCIIs could also occur. This could be an adaptive response to a reduced metabolic demand for NADPH due to a limited carbon flux through the Calvin cycle, resulting from low Rubisco activation. Furthermore, the cyt-bfs and PSIs deprived of linear electron transport could support cyclic electron flux to cover an increased ATP demand during gluconeogenesis in CAM Phase III.