Photosynthesis Research (v.111, #3)

Elena Yaronskaya (10.05.1955–24.09.2011) by Natalia Averina; Nikolai Shalygo; Bernhard Grimm; Heiko Lokstein (259-260).

Photoassimilated carbons are converted to sucrose in green plant leaves and distributed to non-phototropic tissues to provide carbon and energy. In photosynthetic sucrose biosynthesis, the chloroplast envelope triose phosphate/phosphate translocator (TPT) and cytosolic fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase (cFBPase) are key components in photosynthetic sucrose biosynthesis. The simultaneous overexpression of TPT and cFBPase was utilized to increase the source capacity of Arabidopsis. The TPT and cFBPase overexpression lines exhibited enhanced growth with larger rosette sizes and increased fresh weights compared with wild-type (WT) plants. The simultaneous overexpression of TPT and cFBPase resulted in enhanced photosynthetic CO2 assimilation rates in moderate and elevated light conditions. During the phototropic period, the soluble sugar (sucrose, glucose, and fructose) levels in the leaves of these transgenic lines were also higher than those of the WT plants. These results suggest that the simultaneous overexpression of TPT and cFBPase enhances source capacity and consequently leads to growth enhancement in transgenic plants.
Keywords: Cytosolic fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase; Growth enhancement; Source capacity; Triose phosphate/phosphate translocator

Elevated CO2 reduces stomatal and metabolic limitations on photosynthesis caused by salinity in Hordeum vulgare by Usue Pérez-López; Anabel Robredo; Maite Lacuesta; Amaia Mena-Petite; Alberto Muñoz-Rueda (269-283).
The future environment may be altered by high concentrations of salt in the soil and elevated [CO2] in the atmosphere. These have opposite effects on photosynthesis. Generally, salt stress inhibits photosynthesis by stomatal and non-stomatal mechanisms; in contrast, elevated [CO2] stimulates photosynthesis by increasing CO2 availability in the Rubisco carboxylating site and by reducing photorespiration. However, few studies have focused on the interactive effects of these factors on photosynthesis. To elucidate this knowledge gap, we grew the barley plant, Hordeum vulgare (cv. Iranis), with and without salt stress at either ambient or elevated atmospheric [CO2] (350 or 700 μmol mol−1 CO2, respectively). We measured growth, several photosynthetic and fluorescence parameters, and carbohydrate content. Under saline conditions, the photosynthetic rate decreased, mostly because of stomatal limitations. Increasing salinity progressively increased metabolic (photochemical and biochemical) limitation; this included an increase in non-photochemical quenching and a reduction in the PSII quantum yield. When salinity was combined with elevated CO2, the rate of CO2 diffusion to the carboxylating site increased, despite lower stomatal and internal conductance. The greater CO2 availability increased the electron sink capacity, which alleviated the salt-induced metabolic limitations on the photosynthetic rate. Consequently, elevated CO2 partially mitigated the saline effects on photosynthesis by maintaining favorable biochemistry and photochemistry in barley leaves.
Keywords: Climate change; Elevated CO2 ; Hordeum vulgare L.; Photosynthesis; Salinity

Phototrophs of the family Heliobacteriaceae contain the simplest known Type I reaction center (RC), consisting of a homodimeric (PshA)2 core devoid of bound cytochromes and antenna proteins. Unlike plant and cyanobacterial Photosystem I in which the FA/FB protein, PsaC, is tightly bound to P700–FX cores, the RCs of Heliobacterium modesticaldum contain two FA/FB proteins, PshBI and PshBII, which are loosely bound to P800–FX cores. These two 2[4Fe–4S] ferredoxins have been proposed to function as mobile redox proteins, reducing downstream metabolic partners much in the same manner as does [2Fe–2S] ferredoxin or flavodoxin (Fld) in PS I. Using P800–FX cores devoid of PshBI and PshBII, we show that iron–sulfur cluster FX directly reduces Fld without the involvement of FA or FB (Fld is used as a proxy for soluble redox proteins even though a gene encoding Fld is not identified in the H. modesticaldum genome). The reduction of Fld is suppressed by the addition of PshBI or PshBII, an effect explained by competition for the electron on FX. In contrast, P700–FX cores require the presence of the PsaC, and hence, the FA/FB clusters for Fld (or ferredoxin) reduction. Thus, in H. modesticaldum, the interpolypeptide FX cluster serves as the terminal bound electron acceptor. This finding implies that the homodimeric (PshA)2 cores should be capable of donating electrons to a wide variety of yet-to-be characterized soluble redox partners.
Keywords: Fe/S cluster; Flavodoxin; Bchl g ; Heliobacteriaceae; Type I reaction center; Photosynthetic reaction center; Anoxygenic phototroph

Purification of the photosynthetic reaction center from Heliobacterium modesticaldum by Iosifina Sarrou; Zahid Khan; John Cowgill; Su Lin; Daniel Brune; Steven Romberger; John H. Golbeck; Kevin E. Redding (291-302).
We have developed a purification protocol for photoactive reaction centers (HbRC) from Heliobacterium modesticaldum. HbRCs were purified from solubilized membranes in two sequential chromatographic steps, resulting in the isolation of a fraction containing a single polypeptide, which was identified as PshA by LC–MS/MS of tryptic peptides. All polypeptides reported earlier as unknown proteins (in Heinnickel et al., Biochemistry 45:6756–6764, 2006; Romberger et al., Photosynth Res 104:293–303, 2010) are now identified by mass spectrometry to be the membrane-bound cytochrome c 553 and four different ABC-type transporters. The purified PshA homodimer binds the following pigments: 20 bacteriochlorophyll (BChl) g, two BChl g′, two 81-OH-Chl a F, and one 4,4′-diaponeurosporene. It lacks the PshB polypeptide binding the FA and FB [4Fe–4S] clusters. It is active in charge separation and exhibits a trapping time of 23 ps, as judged by time-resolved fluorescence studies. The charge recombination rate of the P800 +F X state is 10–15 ms, as seen before. The purified HbRC core was able to reduce cyanobacterial flavodoxin in the light, exhibiting a K M of 10 μM and a k cat of 9.5 s−1 under near-saturating light. There are ~1.6 menaquinones per HbRC in the purified complex. Illumination of frozen HbRC in the presence of dithionite can cause creation of a radical at g = 2.0046, but this is not a semiquinone. Furthermore, we show that high-purity HbRCs are very stable in anoxic conditions and even remain active in the presence of oxygen under low light.
Keywords: Heliobacteria; Anoxygenic; Type I reaction center; PshA

Thalli of the foliose lichen species Parmelina tiliacea were studied to determine responses of the photosynthetic apparatus to high temperatures in the dry and wet state. The speed with which dry thalli were activated by water following a 24 h exposure at different temperatures decreased as the temperature was increased. But even following a 24 h exposure to 50°C the fluorescence induction kinetics OJIP reflecting the reduction kinetics of the photosynthetic electron transport chain had completely recovered within 128 min. Exposure of dry thalli to 50°C for 24 h did not induce a K-peak in the fluorescence rise suggesting that the oxygen evolving complex had remained intact. This contrasted strongly with wet thalli were submergence for 40 s in water of 45°C inactivated most of the photosystem II reaction centres. In wet thalli, following the destruction of the Mn-cluster, the donation rate to photosystem II by alternative donors (e.g. ascorbate) was lower than in higher plants. This is associated with the near absence of a secondary rise peak (~1 s) normally observed in higher plants. Analysing the 820 nm and prompt fluorescence transients suggested that the M-peak (occurs around 2–5 s) in heat-treated wet lichen thalli is related to cyclic electron transport around photosystem I. Normally, heat stress in lichen thalli leads to desiccation and as consequence lichens may lack the heat-stress-tolerance-increasing mechanisms observed in higher plants. Wet lichen thalli may, therefore, represent an attractive reference system for the evaluation of processes related with heat stress in higher plants.
Keywords: Fast fluorescence rise OJIP; High temperature; Lichens; Parmelina tiliacea ; M-peak

Fungicide impacts on photosynthesis in crop plants by Anne-Noëlle Petit; Florence Fontaine; Parul Vatsa; Christophe Clément; Nathalie Vaillant-Gaveau (315-326).
Fungicides are widely used to control pests in crop plants. However, it has been reported that these pesticides may have negative effects on crop physiology, especially on photosynthesis. An alteration in photosynthesis might lead to a reduction in photoassimilate production, resulting in a decrease in both growth and yield of crop plants. For example, a contact fungicide such as copper inhibits photosynthesis by destroying chloroplasts, affecting photosystem II activity and chlorophyll biosynthesis. Systemic fungicides such as benzimidazoles, anilides, and pyrimidine are also phytotoxic, whereas azoles stimulate photosynthesis. This article focuses on the available information about toxic effects of fungicides on photosynthesis in crop plants, highlighting the mechanisms of perturbation, interaction, and the target sites of different classes of fungicides.
Keywords: Chlorophyll; Crop plants; Fungicides; Photosynthesis; Photosystems; Physiology; Phytotoxicity; Stomatal closure; Stress

Advances in photosynthesis and respiration by Thomas D. Sharkey (327-329).