Photosynthesis Research (v.126, #2-3)

Special issue on Regulation of the Photosynthetic Systems in honor of Tingyun Kuang by Congming Lu; Jian-Ren Shen; Lixin Zhang (185-188).

Oxygenic photosynthesis requires chlorophyll (Chl) for the absorption of light energy, and charge separation in the reaction center of photosystem I and II, to feed electrons into the photosynthetic electron transfer chain. Chl is bound to different Chl-binding proteins assembled in the core complexes of the two photosystems and their peripheral light-harvesting antenna complexes. The structure of the photosynthetic protein complexes has been elucidated, but mechanisms of their biogenesis are in most instances unknown. These processes involve not only the assembly of interacting proteins, but also the functional integration of pigments and other cofactors. As a precondition for the association of Chl with the Chl-binding proteins in both photosystems, the synthesis of the apoproteins is synchronized with Chl biosynthesis. This review aims to summarize the present knowledge on the posttranslational organization of Chl biosynthesis and current attempts to envision the proceedings of the successive synthesis and integration of Chl into Chl-binding proteins in the thylakoid membrane. Potential auxiliary factors, contributing to the control and organization of Chl biosynthesis and the association of Chl with the Chl-binding proteins during their integration into photosynthetic complexes, are discussed in this review.
Keywords: Tetrapyrrole biosynthesis; Chloroplast biogenesis; Chlorophyll; Photosynthesis; Light-harvesting antenna complex; Chloroplast signal recognition particle

Toward the complete proteome of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 by Liyan Gao; Jinlong Wang; Haitao Ge; Longfa Fang; Yuanya Zhang; Xiahe Huang; Yingchun Wang (203-219).
The proteome of the photosynthetic model organism Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 has been extensively analyzed in the last 15 years for the purpose of identifying proteins specifically expressed in subcellular compartments or differentially expressed in different environmental or internal conditions. This review summarizes the progress achieved so far with the emphasis on the impact of different techniques, both in sample preparation and protein identification, on the increasing coverage of proteome identification. In addition, this review evaluates the current completeness of proteome identification, and provides insights on the potential factors that could affect the complete identification of the Synechocystis proteome.
Keywords: Synechocystis ; Proteomics; Membrane; Proteome; Proteome coverage

Stress-related hormones and glycinebetaine interplay in protection of photosynthesis under abiotic stress conditions by Leonid V. Kurepin; Alexander G. Ivanov; Mohammad Zaman; Richard P. Pharis; Suleyman I. Allakhverdiev; Vaughan Hurry; Norman P. A. Hüner (221-235).
Plants subjected to abiotic stresses such as extreme high and low temperatures, drought or salinity, often exhibit decreased vegetative growth and reduced reproductive capabilities. This is often associated with decreased photosynthesis via an increase in photoinhibition, and accompanied by rapid changes in endogenous levels of stress-related hormones such as abscisic acid (ABA), salicylic acid (SA) and ethylene. However, certain plant species and/or genotypes exhibit greater tolerance to abiotic stress because they are capable of accumulating endogenous levels of the zwitterionic osmolyte—glycinebetaine (GB). The accumulation of GB via natural production, exogenous application or genetic engineering, enhances plant osmoregulation and thus increases abiotic stress tolerance. The final steps of GB biosynthesis occur in chloroplasts where GB has been shown to play a key role in increasing the protection of soluble stromal and lumenal enzymes, lipids and proteins, of the photosynthetic apparatus. In addition, we suggest that the stress-induced GB biosynthesis pathway may well serve as an additional or alternative biochemical sink, one which consumes excess photosynthesis-generated electrons, thus protecting photosynthetic apparatus from overreduction. Glycinebetaine biosynthesis in chloroplasts is up-regulated by increases in endogenous ABA or SA levels. In this review, we propose and discuss a model describing the close interaction and synergistic physiological effects of GB and ABA in the process of cold acclimation of higher plants.
Keywords: Abscisic acid; Cold acclimation; Glycinebetaine; Environmental stress; Photosynthetic apparatus; Plant hormones

Photobiological hydrogen production and artificial photosynthesis for clean energy: from bio to nanotechnologies by K. Nath; M. M. Najafpour; R. A. Voloshin; S. E. Balaghi; E. Tyystjärvi; R. Timilsina; J. J. Eaton-Rye; T. Tomo; H. G. Nam; H. Nishihara; S. Ramakrishna; J.-R. Shen; S. I. Allakhverdiev (237-247).
Global energy demand is increasing rapidly and due to intensive consumption of different forms of fuels, there are increasing concerns over the reduction in readily available conventional energy resources. Because of the deleterious atmospheric effects of fossil fuels and the uncertainties of future energy supplies, there is a surge of interest to find environmentally friendly alternative energy sources. Hydrogen (H2) has attracted worldwide attention as a secondary energy carrier, since it is the lightest carbon-neutral fuel rich in energy per unit mass and easy to store. Several methods and technologies have been developed for H2 production, but none of them are able to replace the traditional combustion fuel used in automobiles so far. Extensively modified and renovated methods and technologies are required to introduce H2 as an alternative efficient, clean, and cost-effective future fuel. Among several emerging renewable energy technologies, photobiological H2 production by oxygenic photosynthetic microbes such as green algae and cyanobacteria or by artificial photosynthesis has attracted significant interest. In this short review, we summarize the recent progress and challenges in H2-based energy production by means of biological and artificial photosynthesis routes.
Keywords: Artificial photosynthesis; Hydrogen as clean energy; Cyanobacteria; Light-harvesting complexes; Nanotechnology; Photobiological hydrogen production

The light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b binding protein complex of photosystem II (LHCII) is the main antenna complex of photosystem II (PSII). Plants change their LHCII content depending on the light environment. Under high-light conditions, the content of LHCII should decrease because over-excitation damages the photosystem. Chlorophyll b is indispensable for accumulating LHCII, and chlorophyll b degradation induces LHCII degradation. Chlorophyll b degradation is initiated by chlorophyll b reductase (CBR). In land plants, NON-YELLOW COLORING 1 (NYC1) and NYC1-Like (NOL) are isozymes of CBR. We analyzed these mutants to determine their functions under high-light conditions. During high-light treatment, the chlorophyll a/b ratio was stable in the wild-type (WT) and nol plants, and the LHCII content decreased in WT plants. The chlorophyll a/b ratio decreased in the nyc1 and nyc1/nol plants, and a substantial degree of LHCII was retained in nyc1/nol plants after the high-light treatment. These results demonstrate that NYC1 degrades the chlorophyll b on LHCII under high-light conditions, thus decreasing the LHCII content. After the high-light treatment, the maximum quantum efficiency of the PSII photochemistry was lower in nyc1 and nyc1/nol plants than in WT and nol plants. A larger light-harvesting system would damage PSII in nyc1 and nyc1/nol plants. The fluorescence spectroscopy of the leaves indicated that photosystem I was also damaged by the excess LHCII in nyc1/nol plants. These observations suggest that chlorophyll b degradation by NYC1 is the initial reaction for the optimization of the light-harvesting capacity under high-light conditions.
Keywords: Chlorophyll b reductase; Light-harvesting complex; High-light conditions; Arabidopsis

Arabidopsis plants grown at low light were exposed to a gradually increasing actinic light routine. This method allows for the discerning of the photoprotective component of NPQ, pNPQ and photoinhibition. They exhibited lower values of Photosystem II (PSII) yield in comparison to high-light grown plants, and higher calculated dark fluorescence level (Fo calc.) than the measured one (Fo act.). As a result, in low-light grown plants, the values of qP measured in the dark appeared higher than 1. Normally, Fo act. and Fo calc. match well at moderate light intensities but Fo act. becomes higher at increasing intensities due to reaction centre (RCII) damage; this indicates the onset of photoinhibition. To explain the unusual increase of qP in the dark in low-light grown plants, we have undertaken an analysis of PSII antenna size using biochemical and spectroscopic approaches. Sucrose gradient separation of thylakoid membrane complexes and fast fluorescence induction experiments illustrated that the relative PSII cross section does not increase appreciably with the rise in PSII antenna size in the low-light grown plants. This suggests that part of the increased LHCII antenna is less efficiently coupled to the RCII. A model based upon the existence of an uncoupled population LHCII is proposed to explain the discrepancies in calculated and measured values of Fo.
Keywords: Arabidopsis ; Protective NPQ; Photosystem II; Light acclimation; LHCII

Chlorophyll a fluorescence of flag leaves in a super-high-yielding hybrid rice (Oryza sativa L.) LYPJ, and a traditional hybrid rice SY63 cultivar with lower grain yield, which were grown in the field, were investigated from emergence through senescence of flag leaves. As the flag leaf matured, there was an increasing trend in photosynthetic parameters such as quantum efficiency of primary photochemistry ( $$varphi$$ φ Po) and efficiency of electron transport from PS II to PS I (Ψ Eo). The overall photosynthetic performance index (PIABS) was significantly higher in the high-yielding LYPJ compared to SY63 during the entire reproductive stage of the plant, the same to MDA content. However, $$varphi$$ φ Po(=F V/F M), an indicator of the primary photochemistry of the flag leaf, did not display significant changes with leaf age and was not significantly different between the two cultivars, suggesting that PIABS is a more sensitive parameter than $$varphi$$ φ Po (=F V/F M) during leaf age for distinguishing between cultivars differing in yield.
Keywords: Chlorophyll a fluorescence transient; Flag leaf; JIP-test; Hybrid rice (Oryza sativa L.); Photochemistry; Performance index

Purine biosynthetic enzyme ATase2 is involved in the regulation of early chloroplast development and chloroplast gene expression in Arabidopsis by Zhipan Yang; Zengzhen Shang; Lei Wang; Qingtao Lu; Xiaogang Wen; Wei Chi; Lixin Zhang; Congming Lu (285-300).
To investigate the molecular mechanism of chloroplast biogenesis and development, we characterized an Arabidopsis mutant (dg169, delayed greening 169) which showed growth retardation and delayed greening phenotype in leaves. Newly emerged chlorotic leaves recovered gradually with leaf development in the mutant, and the mature leaves showed similar phenotype to those of wild-typewild-type plants. Compared with wild-type, the chloroplasts were oval-shaped and smaller and the thylakoid membranes were less abundant in yellow section of young leaves of dg169. In addition, the functions of photosystem II (PSII) and photosystem I (PSI) were also impaired. Furthermore, the amount of core subunits of PSII and PSI, as well as PSII and PSI complexes reduced in yellow section of young leaves of dg169. Map-based positional cloning identified that phenotype of dg169 was attributed to a point mutation of ATase2 which converts the conserved Ile-155 residue to Asn. ATase2 catalyzes the first step of de novo purine biosynthesis. This mutation resulted in impaired purine synthesis and a significant decrease in ATP, ADP, GTP and GDP contents. The analysis of ATase2-GFP protein fusion showed that ATase2 was localized to nucleoid of chloroplasts. Our results further demonstrated that the levels of PEP-dependent transcripts in yellow section of young leaves of dg169 were decreased while NEP-dependent and both PEP- and NEP-dependent transcripts and chloroplast DNA replications were increased. The results in this study suggest that ATase2 plays an essential role in early chloroplast development through maintaining PEP function.
Keywords: Arabidopsis ; ATase2; Chloroplast development; Chloroplast gene expression; Purine biosynthesis

Chloroplast development is regulated by many biological processes. However, these processes are not fully understood. Leaf variegation mutants have been used as powerful models to elucidate the genetic network of chloroplast development since the degree of leaf variegation is regulated by developmental and environmental cues. The thylakoid formation 1 (thf1) mutant is unique for its variegation in both leaves and cotyledons. Here, we reported a new suppressor gene of thf1 leaf variegation, designated sot8. Map-based cloning and DNA sequencing results showed that a single nucleotide mutation from G to A was detected in the second exon of the gene encoding the ribosomal protein small subunit 9 (PRPS9) in sot8-1, resulting in an amino acid change and a partial loss of PRPS9 function. However, sot8-1 was unable to rescue the thf1 phenotype in low photosystem II activity (Fv/Fm). In addition, we identified two T-DNA insertion mutants defective in plastid-specific ribosomal proteins (PSRPs), psrp2-1, and psrp5-1. Genetic analysis showed that knockdown of PSRP5 expression but not PSRP2 expression suppressed leaf variegation. Northern blotting results showed that precursors of plastid rRNAs over-accumulated in prps9-1 and psrp5-1, indicating that mutations in PRPS9 and PSRP5 cause a defect in rRNA processing. Consistently, inhibition of plastid protein synthesis by spectinomycin led to increased levels of plastid rRNA precursors in wild-type plants, suggesting that rRNA processing and plastid ribosomal assembly are coupled. Taken together, our data indicate that downregulating the expression of specific plastid ribosomal proteins suppresses thf1 leaf variegation, and provide new insights into a role of THF1 in plastid gene expression.
Keywords: Chloroplast development; Ribosomal proteins; rRNA processing; Leaf variegation; thf1

PPR protein PDM1/SEL1 is involved in RNA editing and splicing of plastid genes in Arabidopsis thaliana by Hong-Dao Zhang; Yong-Lan Cui; Chao Huang; Qian-Qian Yin; Xue-Mei Qin; Te Xu; Xiao-Fang He; Yi Zhang; Zi-Ran Li; Zhong-Nan Yang (311-321).
After transcription, most chloroplast precursor RNAs undergo further post-transcriptional processing including cleavage, editing, and splicing. Previous investigation has shown that the cleavage of the rpoA transcript and most editing sites, including accD-1, are defective in the knockout mutant of PDM1/SEL1, a PLS-type PPR protein, and that PDM1 is associated with the rpoA transcript. In this work, we found that the splicing of group II introns in trnK and ndhA is also affected in pdm1. Co-immunoprecipitation mass spectrometry experiments were performed to identify proteins that are associated with PDM1. We obtained 126 non-redundant proteins, of which MORF9 was reported to be involved in RNA editing in chloroplast. Yeast two-hybrid assays showed that PDM1 interacts directly with MORF9, MORF2, and MORF8. RNA immunoprecipitation showed that PDM1 associates with the transcripts of trnK and ndhA, as well as accD-1, suggesting that PDM1 is involved in RNA editing and splicing. Therefore, PDM1 is an important protein for post-transcriptional regulation in chloroplast.
Keywords: PPR protein; RNA editing; Splicing; ROS; Chloroplast

The plastid accD gene encodes one subunit of a multimeric acetyl-CoA carboxylase that is required for fatty acid biosynthesis. In Arabidopsis thaliana, the accD gene is transcribed by the nuclear-encoded phage-type RNA polymerase, and the accumulation of accD transcripts is subjected to a dynamic pattern during chloroplast development. However, the mechanisms underlying the regulation of accD expression remain unknown. Here, we showed that the inefficient transcription termination of rbcL due to the absence of RHON1 impaired the developmental profile of accD, resulting in the constitutive expression of accD during chloroplast development. Moreover, the accumulation of accD transcripts accordingly resulted in an increase in accD protein levels, suggesting that transcript abundance is critical for accD gene production. Our study demonstrates that the interplay between accD and upstream rbcL regulates the expression of accD and highlights the significance of transcriptional regulation in plastid gene expression in higher plants.
Keywords: Plastid; accD; Transcriptional regulation; Plastid transcription termination

REVEILLE1 promotes NADPH: protochlorophyllide oxidoreductase A expression and seedling greening in Arabidopsis by Gang Xu; Haiyan Guo; Dong Zhang; Dongqin Chen; Zhimin Jiang; Rongcheng Lin (331-340).
Chlorophyll biosynthesis plays a crucial role in the greening process and survival of etiolated seedlings and yet the mechanism underlying the regulation of this process is poorly understood. Upon light stimulation, NADPH: protochlorophyllide oxidoreductase (POR) catalyzes the reduction of protochlorophyllide (Pchlide) to chlorophyllide. Whereas this represents a key step in the chlorophyll biosynthetic pathway, the regulation of POR remains largely unknown. Three POR isoforms exist in Arabidopsis thaliana, i.e., PORA, PORB, and PORC. In this study, we identified a transcription factor, REVEILLE1 (RVE1), that binds directly to the PORA promoter through the EE-box cis-regulatory element. Analysis of PORA expression in RVE1 loss-of-function (rve1) and overexpression (RVE1-OX) Arabidopsis plants showed that RVE1 positively regulates the transcription of PORA. We found that Pchlide levels were reduced in RVE1-OX seedlings. Furthermore, rve1 etiolated seedlings had lower greening rates than the wild type when exposed to light, whereas RVE1-OX seedlings had higher greening rates. In addition, when etiolated seedlings were exposed to light, RVE1-OX plants had less reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation and cell death than the wild type, and had reduced levels of ROS-responsive gene expression. Taken together, our study reveals an important role for RVE1 in regulating chlorophyll biosynthesis and promoting seedling greening during early plant growth and development.
Keywords: Chlorophyll biosynthesis; RVE1; POR; Seedling greening

NDH-1L interacts with ferredoxin via the subunit NdhS in Thermosynechococcus elongatus by Zhihui He; Fangfang Zheng; Yaozong Wu; Qinghua Li; Jing Lv; Pengcheng Fu; Hualing Mi (341-349).
The large size complex of cyanobacterial NAD(P)H dehydrogenase (NDH-1) complex (NDH-1L) plays crucial role in a variety of bioenergetic reactions such as respiration and cyclic electron flow around photosystem I. Although the complex has been isolated and identified, its biochemical function still remains to be clarified. Here, we highly purified the NDH-1L complex from the cells of Thermosynechococcus elongatus by Ni2+ affinity chromatography and size-exclusion chromatography. The purified NDH-1L complex has an apparent total molecular mass of approximately 500 kDa. 14 known subunits were identified by mass spectrometry and immunoblotting, including the NdhS subunit containing ferredoxin (Fd)-docking site domain. Surface plasmon resonance measurement demonstrates that the NDH-1L complex could bind to Fd with the binding constant (K D) of 59 µM. Yeast two-hybrid system assay further confirmed the interaction of Fd with NdhS and indicated that NdhH is involved in the interaction. Our results provide direct biochemical evidence that the cyanobacterial NDH-1 complex catalyzes the electron transport from reduced Fd to plastoquinone via NdhS and NdhH.
Keywords: Cyanobacteria; NDH-1 complex; Purification; Ferredoxin; Surface plasmon resonance; Thermosynechococcus elongatus

Although terrestrial CO2 concentrations [CO2] are not expected to reach 1000 μmol mol−1 (or ppm) for many decades, CO2 levels in closed systems such as growth chambers and greenhouses can easily exceed this concentration. CO2 levels in life support systems (LSS) in space can exceed 10,000 ppm (1 %). In order to understand how photosynthesis in C4 plants may respond to elevated CO2, it is necessary to determine if leaves of closed artificial ecosystem grown plants have a fully developed C4 photosynthetic apparatus, and whether or not photosynthesis in these leaves is more responsive to elevated [CO2] than leaves of C3 plants. To address this issue, we evaluated the response of gas exchange, water use efficiency, and photosynthetic efficiency of PSII by soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr., ‘Heihe35’) of a typical C3 plant and maize (Zea mays L., ‘Susheng’) of C4 plant under four CO2 concentrations (500, 1000, 3000, and 5000 ppm), which were grown under controlled environmental conditions of Lunar Palace 1. The results showed that photosynthetic pigment by the C3 plants of soybean was more sensitive to elevated [CO2] below 3000 ppm than the C4 plants of maize. Elevated [CO2] to 1000 ppm induced a higher initial photosynthetic rate, while super-elevated [CO2] appeared to negate such initial growth promotion for C3 plants. The C4 plant had the highest ETR, φPSII, and qP under 500–3000 ppm [CO2], but then decreased substantially at 5000 ppm [CO2] for both species. Therefore, photosynthetic down-regulation and a decrease in photosynthetic electron transport occurred by both species in response to super-elevated [CO2] at 3000 and 5000 ppm. Accordingly, plants can be selected for and adapt to the efficient use of elevated CO2 concentration in LSS.
Keywords: Elevated [CO2]; Gas exchange; Water use efficiency; Chlorophyll fluorescence; C3 and C4 plants; Life support systems

Photosynthesis, sucrose metabolism, and starch accumulation in two NILs of winter wheat by Baoshan Wang; Mingyang Ma; Haiguo Lu; Qingwei Meng; Gang Li; Xinghong Yang (363-373).
The photosynthetic oxygen evolution rate, Hill reaction activity of seedlings and photosynthetic parameter, Pn–Ci curve and some source-sink metabolism-related enzyme activities, and substance content of flag leaves were measured by using two wheat near isogenic lines with significant differences in the photosynthetic rate of the 154 (high photosynthetic rate) and 212 (low photosynthetic rate) lines as materials. The results showed that the maximal carboxylation efficiency (Vcmax) and Hill reaction activity were higher in line 154 than that of line 212. The Pn in flag leaves of line 154 was significantly higher than that of line 212 during the anthesis to grain-filling stage. Higher leaf sucrose phosphate synthase activity, grain sucrose synthase activity, and grain ADPG pyrophosphorylase activity ensured that the photosynthate of line 154 could be transported to grains and translated into starch in a timely and effective manner, which also contributed to the maintenance of its high photosynthetic rate. Eventually, all of these factors of line 154 resulted in its higher grain yield compared with the low photosynthetic rate of line 212.
Keywords: Photosynthetic rate; Wheat; Sucrose metabolism; Starch accumulation; Near isogenic lines

Photosystem II (PSII) undergoes frequent damage owing to the demanding electron transfer chemistry it performs. To sustain photosynthetic activity, damaged PSII undergoes a complex repair cycle consisting of many transient intermediate complexes. By purifying PSII from the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 using a histidine-tag on the PsbQ protein, a lumenal extrinsic subunit, a novel PSII assembly intermediate was isolated in addition to the mature PSII complex. This new complex, which we refer to as PSII-Q4, contained four copies of the PsbQ protein per PSII monomer, instead of the expected one copy. In addition, PSII-Q4 lacked two other lumenal extrinsic proteins, PsbU and PsbV, which are present in the mature PSII complex. We suggest that PSII-Q4 is a late PSII assembly intermediate that is formed just before the binding of PsbU and PsbV, and we incorporate these results into an updated model of PSII assembly.
Keywords: Photosynthesis; Photosystem II assembly; Membrane protein; Thylakoid membrane

Site-directed mutagenesis of amino acid residues of D1 protein interacting with phosphatidylglycerol affects the function of plastoquinone QB in photosystem II by Kaichiro Endo; Naoki Mizusawa; Jian-Ren Shen; Masato Yamada; Tatsuya Tomo; Hirohisa Komatsu; Masami Kobayashi; Koichi Kobayashi; Hajime Wada (385-397).
Recent X-ray crystallographic analysis of photosystem (PS) II at 1.9-Å resolution identified 20 lipid molecules in the complex, five of which are phosphatidylglycerol (PG). In this study, we mutagenized amino acid residues S232 and N234 of D1, which interact with two of the PG molecules (PG664 and PG694), by site-directed mutagenesis in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 to investigate the role of the interaction in PSII. The serine and asparagine residues at positions 232 and 234 from the N-terminus were mutagenized to alanine and aspartic acid, respectively, and a mutant carrying both amino acid substitutions was also produced. Although the obtained mutants, S232A, N234D, and S232AN234D, exhibited normal growth, they showed decreased photosynthetic activities and slower electron transport from QA to QB than the control strain. Thermoluminescence analysis suggested that this slower electron transfer in the mutants was caused by more negative redox potential of QB, but not in those of QA and S2. In addition, the levels of extrinsic proteins, PsbV and PsbU, were decreased in PSII monomer purified from the S232AN234D mutant, while that of Psb28 was increased. In the S232AN234D mutant, the content of PG in PSII was slightly decreased, whereas that of monogalactosyldiacylglycerol was increased compared with the control strain. These results suggest that the interactions of S232 and N234 with PG664 and PG694 are important to maintain the function of QB and to stabilize the binding of extrinsic proteins to PSII.
Keywords: D1; Phosphatidylglycerol; Photosystem II; Site-directed mutagenesis; Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803

Action spectra of photoinactivation of Photosystem II (PS II) in wild-type and chlorophyll b-less barley leaf segments were obtained. Photoinactivation of PS II was monitored by the delivery of electrons from PS II to PS I following single-turnover flashes superimposed on continuous far-red light, the time course of photoinactivation yielding a rate coefficient k i. Susceptibility of PS II to photoinactivation was quantified as the ratio of k i to the moderate irradiance (I) of light at each selected wavelength. k i/I was very much higher in blue light than in red light. The experimental conditions permitted little excess light energy absorbed by chlorophyll (not utilized in photochemical conversion or dissipated in controlled photoprotection) that could lead to photoinactivation of PS II. Therefore, direct absorption of light by Mn in PS II, rather than by chlorophyll, was more likely to have initiated the much more severe photoinactivation in blue light than in red light. Mutant leaves were ca. 1.5-fold more susceptible to photoinactivation than the wild type. Neither the excess-energy mechanism nor the Mn mechanism can explain this difference. Instead, the much lower chlorophyll content of mutant leaves could have exerted an exacerbating effect, possibly partly due to less mutual shading of chloroplasts in the mutant leaves. In general, which mechanism dominates depends on the experimental conditions.
Keywords: Chlorophyll fluorescence; P700; Photosystem II; Photoinactivation of Photosystem II; Photoinhibition

D1 fragmentation in photosystem II repair caused by photo-damage of a two-step model by Yusuke Kato; Shin-ichiro Ozawa; Yuichiro Takahashi; Wataru Sakamoto (409-416).
Light energy drives photosynthesis, but it simultaneously inactivates photosynthetic mechanisms. A major target site of photo-damage is photosystem II (PSII). It further targets one reaction center protein, D1, which is maintained efficiently by the PSII repair cycle. Two proteases, FtsH and Deg, are known to contribute to this process, respectively, by efficient degradation of photo-damaged D1 protein processively and endoproteolytically. This study tested whether the D1 cleavage accomplished by these proteases is affected by different monochromic lights such as blue and red light-emitting-diode light sources, remaining mindful that the use of these lights distinguishes the current models for photoinhibition: the excess-energy model and the two-step model. It is noteworthy that in the two-step model, primary damage results from the absorption of light energy in the Mn-cluster, which can be enhanced by a blue rather than a red light source. Results showed that blue and red lights affect D1 degradation differently. One prominent finding was that D1 fragmentation that is specifically generated by luminal Deg proteases was enhanced by blue light but not by red light in the mutant lacking FtsH2. Although circumstantial, this evidence supports a two-step model of PSII photo-damage. We infer that enhanced D1 fragmentation by luminal Deg proteases is a response to primary damage at the Mn-cluster.
Keywords: Photoinhibition; D1 degradation; FtsH; Deg; PSII repair; Chloroplast protease

It has been shown by Khorobrykh et al. (Biochemistry (Moscow) 67:683–688, 2002); Yanykin et al. (Biochim Biophys Acta 1797:516–523, 2010); Khorobrykh et al. (Biochemistry 50:10658–10665, 2011) that Mn-depleted photosystem II (PSII) membrane fragments are characterized by an enhanced oxygen photoconsumption on the donor side of PSII which is accompanied with hydroperoxide formation and it was suggested that the events are related to the oxidative photoinhibition of PSII. Experimental confirmation of this suggestion is presented in this work. The degree of photoinhibition was determined by the loss of the capability of exogenous electron donors (Mn2+ or sodium ascorbate) to the reactivation of electron transport [measured by the light-induced changes of chlorophyll fluorescence yield (∆F)] in Mn-depleted PSII membranes. The transition from anaerobic conditions to aerobic ones significantly activated photoinhibition of Mn-depleted PSII membranes both in the absence and in the presence of exogenous electron acceptor, ferricyanide. The photoinhibition of Mn-depleted PSII membranes was suppressed upon the addition of exogenous electron donors (Mn2+, diphenylcarbazide, and ferrocyanide). The addition of superoxide dismutase did not affect the photoinhibition of Mn-depleted PSII membranes. It is concluded that the interaction of molecular oxygen (rather than superoxide anion radical formed on the acceptor side of PSII) with the oxidized components of the donor side of PSII reflects the involvement of O2 in the donor-side photoinhibition of Mn-depleted PSII membranes.
Keywords: Photosystem II; Oxygen photoconsumption; Manganese; Photoinhibition

Heat-induced unfolding of apo-CP43 studied by fluorescence spectroscopy and CD spectroscopy by Qing-Jie Xiao; Zai-Geng Li; Jiao Yang; Qing He; Lei Xi; Lin-Fang Du (427-435).
CP43 is a chlorophyll-binding protein, which acts as a conduit for the excitation energy transfer. The thermal stability of apo-CP43 was studied by intrinsic fluorescence, exogenous ANS fluorescence, and circular dichroism spectroscopy. Under heat treatment, the structure of apo-CP43 changed and existed transition state occurred between 56 and 62 °C by the intrinsic, exogenous ANS fluorescence and the analysis of hydrophobicity. Besides, the isosbestic point of the sigmoidal curve was 58.10 ± 1.02 °C by calculating α-helix transition and the Tm was 56.45 ± 0.52 and 55.59 ± 0.68 °C by calculating the unfolded fraction of tryptophan and tyrosine fluorescence, respectively. During the process of unfolding, the hydrophobic structure of C-terminal segment firstly started to expose at 40 °C, and then the hydrophobic cluster adjacent to the N-terminal segment also gradually exposed to hydrophilic environment with increasing temperature. Our results indicated that heat treatment, especially above 40 °C, has an important impact on the structural stability of apo-CP43.
Keywords: apo-CP43; Thermal stability ; Fluorescence; ANS; Circular dichroism; Structural rearrangement

Utilization of light by fucoxanthin–chlorophyll-binding protein in a marine centric diatom, Chaetoceros gracilis by Tomoko Ishihara; Kentaro Ifuku; Eiki Yamashita; Yuko Fukunaga; Yuri Nishino; Atsuo Miyazawa; Yasuhiro Kashino; Natsuko Inoue-Kashino (437-447).
The major light-harvesting pigment protein complex (fucoxanthin–chlorophyll-binding protein complex; FCP) was purified from a marine centric diatom, Chaetoceros gracilis, by mild solubilization followed by sucrose density gradient centrifugation, and then characterized. The dynamic light scattering measurement showed unimodality, indicating that the complex was highly purified. The amount of chlorophyll a (Chl a) bound to the purified FCP accounted for more than 60 % of total cellular Chl a. The complex was composed of three abundant polypeptides, although there are nearly 30 FCP-related genes. The two major components were identified as Fcp3 (Lhcf3)- and Fcp4 (Lhcf4)-equivalent proteins based on their internal amino acid sequences and a two-dimensional isoelectric focusing electrophoresis analysis developed in this work. Compared with the thylakoids, the FCP complex showed higher contents of fucoxanthin and chlorophyll c but lower contents of the xanthophyll cycle pigments diadinoxanthin and diatoxanthin. Fluorescence excitation spectra analyses indicated that light harvesting, rather than photosystem protection, is the major function of the purified FCP complex, which is associated with more than 60 % of total cellular Chl a. These findings suggest that the huge amount of Chl bound to the FCP complex composed of Lhcf3, Lhcf4, and an unidentified minor protein has a light-harvesting function to allow efficient photosynthesis under the dim-light conditions in the ocean.
Keywords: Chaetoceros gracilis ; Diatom; FCP; Isoelectric focusing; IEF; 2D-PAGE

Repetitive light pulse-induced photoinhibition of photosystem I severely affects CO2 assimilation and photoprotection in wheat leaves by Marek Zivcak; Marian Brestic; Kristyna Kunderlikova; Oksana Sytar; Suleyman I. Allakhverdiev (449-463).
It was previously found that photosystem I (PSI) photoinhibition represents mostly irreversible damage with a slow recovery; however, its physiological significance has not been sufficiently characterized. The aim of the study was to assess the effect of PSI photoinhibition on photosynthesis in vivo. The inactivation of PSI was done by a series of short light saturation pulses applied by fluorimeter in darkness (every 10 s for 15 min), which led to decrease of both PSI (~60 %) and photosystem II (PSII) (~15 %) photochemical activity. No PSI recovery was observed within 2 days, whereas the PSII was fully recovered. Strongly limited PSI electron transport led to an imbalance between PSII and PSI photochemistry, with a high excitation pressure on PSII acceptor side and low oxidation of the PSI donor side. Low and delayed light-induced NPQ and P700+ rise in inactivated samples indicated a decrease in formation of transthylakoid proton gradient (ΔpH), which was confirmed also by analysis of electrochromic bandshift (ECSt) records. In parallel with photochemical parameters, the CO2 assimilation was also strongly inhibited, more in low light (~70 %) than in high light (~45 %); the decrease was not caused by stomatal closure. PSI electron transport limited the CO2 assimilation at low to moderate light intensities, but it seems not to be directly responsible for a low CO2 assimilation at high light. In this regard, the possible effects of PSI photoinhibition on the redox signaling in chloroplast and its role in downregulation of Calvin cycle activity are discussed.
Keywords: PSI photoinactivation; Transthylakoid proton gradient; Non-photochemical quenching; Electrochromic bandshift; P700

Analysis of spontaneous suppressor mutants from the photomixotrophically grown pmgA-disrupted mutant in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 by Yoshiki Nishijima; Yu Kanesaki; Hirofumi Yoshikawa; Takako Ogawa; Kintake Sonoike; Yoshitaka Nishiyama; Yukako Hihara (465-475).
The pmgA-disrupted (ΔpmgA) mutant in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 suffers severe growth inhibition under photomixotrophic conditions. In order to elucidate the key factors enabling the cells to grow under photomixotrophic conditions, we isolated spontaneous suppressor mutants from the ΔpmgA mutant derived from a single colony. When the ΔpmgA mutant was spread on a BG11 agar plate supplemented with glucose, colonies of suppressor mutants appeared after the bleaching of the background cells. We identified the mutation site of these suppressor mutants and found that 11 mutants out of 13 had a mutation in genes related to the type 1 NAD(P)H dehydrogenase (NDH-1) complex. Among them, eight mutants had mutations within the ndhF3 (sll1732) gene: R32stop, W62stop, V147I, G266V, G354W, G586C, and deletion of 7 bp within the coding region. One mutant had one base insertion in the putative −10 box of the ndhC (slr1279) gene, leading to the decrease in the transcripts of the ndhCKJ operon. Two mutants had one base insertion and deletion in the coding region of cupA (sll1734), which is co-transcribed with ndhF3 and ndhD3 and comprises together a form of NDH-1 complex (NDH-1MS complex) involved in inducible high-affinity CO2 uptake. The results indicate that the loss of the activity of this complex effectively rescues the ΔpmgA mutant under photomixotrophic condition with 1 % CO2. However, little difference among WT and mutants was observed in the activities ascribed to the NDH-1MS complex, i.e., CO2 uptake and cyclic electron transport. This may suggest that the NDH-1MS complex has the third, currently unknown function under photomixotrophic conditions.
Keywords: Cyanobacteria; Glucose tolerance; NAD(P)H dehydrogenase; ndhF3 ; Photomixotrophic growth; Suppressor mutation

Manganese oxides supported on gold nanoparticles: new findings and current controversies for the role of gold by Mohammad Mahdi Najafpour; Seyedeh Maedeh Hosseini; Małgorzata Hołyńska; Tatsuya Tomo; Suleyman I. Allakhverdiev (477-487).
We synthesized manganese oxides supported on gold nanoparticles (diameter <100 nm) by the reaction of KMnO4 with gold nanoparticles under hydrothermal conditions. In this green method Mn oxide is deposited on the gold nanoparticles. The compounds were characterized by scanning electron microscopy, energy-dispersive spectrometry, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, UV–Vis spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and atomic absorption spectroscopy. In the next step, the water-oxidizing activities of these compounds in the presence of cerium(IV) ammonium nitrate as a non-oxo transfer oxidant were studied. The results show that these compounds are good catalysts toward water oxidation with a turnover frequency of 1.0 ± 0.1 (mmol O2/(mol Mn·s)). A comparison with other previously reported Mn oxides and important factors influencing the water-oxidizing activities of Mn oxides is also discussed.
Keywords: Gold nanoparticles; Catalyst; Heterogeneous; Manganese oxide; Water oxidation

The effect of lanthanum(III) and cerium(III) ions between layers of manganese oxide on water oxidation by Mohammad Mahdi Najafpour; Mohsen Abbasi Isaloo; Małgorzata Hołyńska; Jian-Ren Shen; Suleyman Allakhverdiev (489-498).
Manganese oxide structure with lanthanum(III) or cerium(III) ions between the layers was synthesized by a simple method. The ratio of Mn to Ce or La in samples was 0.00, 0.04, 0.08, 0.16, 0.32, 0.5, 0.82, or 1.62. The compounds were characterized by scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction studies, and atomic absorption spectroscopy. The compounds show efficient catalytic activity of water oxidation in the presence of cerium(IV) ammonium nitrate with a turnover frequency of 1.6 mmol O2/mol Mn.s. In contrast to the water-oxidizing complex in Photosystem II, calcium(II) has no specific role to enhance the water-oxidizing activity of the layered manganese oxides and other cations can be replaced without any significant decrease in water-oxidizing activities of these layered Mn oxides. Based on this and previously reported results from oxygen evolution in the presence of H 2 18 O, we discuss the mechanism and the important factors influencing the water-oxidizing activities of the manganese oxides.
Keywords: Artificial photosynthesis; Cerium(III); Lanthanum(III); Nanolayered manganese oxide; Oxygen; Water oxidation

Erratum to: The effect of lanthanum(III) and cerium(III) ions between layers of manganese oxide on water oxidation by Mohammad Mahdi Najafpour; Mohsen Abbasi Isaloo; Małgorzata Hołyńska; Jian-Ren Shen; Suleyman I. Allakhverdiev (499-499).