Photosynthesis Research (v.136, #1)

Vyacheslav (Slava) Klimov (1945–2017): A scientist par excellence, a great human being, a friend, and a Renaissance man by Suleyman I. Allakhverdiev; Sergey K. Zharmukhamedov; Margarita V. Rodionova; Vladimir A. Shuvalov; Charles Dismukes; Jian-Ren Shen; James Barber; Göran Samuelsson; Govindjee (1-16).
Vyacheslav Vasilevich (V.V.) Klimov (or Slava, as most of us called him) was born on January 12, 1945 and passed away on May 9, 2017. He began his scientific career at the Bach Institute of Biochemistry of the USSR Academy of Sciences (Akademy Nauk (AN) SSSR), Moscow, Russia, and then, he was associated with the Institute of Photosynthesis, Pushchino, Moscow Region, for about 50 years. He worked in the field of biochemistry and biophysics of photosynthesis. He is known for his studies on the molecular organization of photosystem II (PSII). He was an eminent scientist in the field of photobiology, a well-respected professor, and, above all, an outstanding researcher. Further, he was one of the founding members of the Institute of Photosynthesis in Pushchino, Russia. To most, Slava Klimov was a great human being. He was one of the pioneers of research on the understanding of the mechanism of light energy conversion and of water oxidation in photosynthesis. Slava had many collaborations all over the world, and he is (and will be) very much missed by the scientific community and friends in Russia as well as around the World. We present here a brief biography and some comments on his research in photosynthesis. We remember him as a friendly and enthusiastic person who had an unflagging curiosity and energy to conduct outstanding research in many aspects of photosynthesis, especially that related to PSII.
Keywords: Biochemistry and biophysics of photosynthesis; Pheophytin; P680; Bicarbonate; Carbonic anhydrase; Photosystem II

Upon high light excitation in photosynthetic bacteria, various triplet states of pigments can accumulate leading to harmful effects. Here, the generation and lifetime of flash-induced carotenoid triplets (3Car) have been studied by observation of the quenching of bacteriochlorophyll (BChl) fluorescence in different strains of photosynthetic bacteria including Rvx. gelatinosus (anaerobic and semianaerobic), Rsp. rubrum, Thio. roseopersicina, Rba. sphaeroides 2.4.1 and carotenoid- and cytochrome-deficient mutants Rba. sphaeroides Ga, R-26, and cycA, respectively. The following results were obtained: (1) 3Car quenching is observed during and not exclusively after the photochemical rise of the fluorescence yield of BChl indicating that the charge separation in the reaction center (RC) and the carotenoid triplet formation are not consecutive but parallel processes. (2) The photoprotective function of 3Car is not limited to the RC only and can be described by a model in which the carotenoids are distributed in the lake of the BChl pigments. (3) The observed lifetime of 3Car in intact cells is the weighted average of the lifetimes of the carotenoids with various numbers of conjugated double bonds in the bacterial strain. (4) The lifetime of 3Car measured in the light is significantly shorter (1–2 μs) than that measured in the dark (2–10 μs). The difference reveals the importance of the dynamics of 3Car before relaxation. The results will be discussed not only in terms of energy levels of the 3Car but also in terms of the kinetics of transitions among different sublevels in the excited triplet state of the carotenoid.
Keywords: Bacterial photosynthesis; Intact cells; Fluorescence induction; Triplet quenching; Lake model

Presence of a [3Fe–4S] cluster in a PsaC variant as a functional component of the photosystem I electron transfer chain in Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002 by Adam A. Pérez; Bryan H. Ferlez; Amanda M. Applegate; Karim Walters; Zhihui He; Gaozhong Shen; John H. Golbeck; Donald A. Bryant (31-48).
A site-directed C14G mutation was introduced into the stromal PsaC subunit of Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7002 in vivo in order to introduce an exchangeable coordination site into the terminal FB [4Fe–4S] cluster of Photosystem I (PSI). Using an engineered PSI-less strain (psaAB deletion), psaC was deleted and replaced with recombinant versions controlled by a strong promoter, and the psaAB deletion was complemented. Modified PSI accumulated at lower levels in this strain and supported slower photoautotrophic growth than wild type. As-isolated PSI complexes containing PsaCC14G showed resonances with g values of 2.038 and 2.007 characteristic of a [3Fe–4S]1+ cluster. When the PSI complexes were illuminated at 15 K, these resonances partially disappeared and two new sets of resonances appeared. The majority set had g values of 2.05, 1.95, and 1.85, characteristic of FA , and the minority set had g values of 2.11, 1.90, and 1.88 from FB′ in the modified site. The S = 1/2 spin state of the latter implied the presence of a thiolate as the terminal ligand. The [3Fe–4S] clusters could be partially reconstituted with iron, producing a larger population of [4Fe–4S] clusters. Rates of flavodoxin reduction were identical in PSI complexes isolated from wild type and the PsaCC14G variant strain; this implied equivalent capacity for forward electron transfer in PSI complexes that contained [3Fe–4S] and [4Fe–4S] clusters. The development of this cyanobacterial strain is a first step toward translation of in vitro PSI-based biosolar molecular wire systems in vivo and provides new insights into the formation of Fe/S clusters.
Keywords: Cyanobacteria; Photosynthesis; Photosystem I; Iron–sulfur cluster; PsaC; Electron transfer

Evidence of the supercomplex organization of photosystem II and light-harvesting complexes in Nannochloropsis granulata by Ikumi Umetani; Motoshi Kunugi; Makio Yokono; Atsushi Takabayashi; Ayumi Tanaka (49-61).
Diverse light-harvesting complexes (LHCs) have been found in photosynthetic microalgae that originated from secondary endosymbiosis involving primary red algae. However, the associations between LHCs and photosystem I (PSI) and photosystem II (PSII) in these microalgae are not fully understood. Eustigmatophyta is a red algal lineage that appears to have a unique organization in its photosynthetic machinery, consisting of only chlorophyll a and carotenoids that are atypical compared with other closely related groups. In this study, the supramolecular organization of pigment–protein complexes in the eustigmatophyte alga, Nannochloropsis granulata was investigated using Clear Native (CN) PAGE coupled with two-dimensional (2D) SDS-PAGE. Our results showed two slowly migrating green bands that corresponded to PSII supercomplexes, which consisted of reaction centers and LHCs. These green bands were also characterized as PSII complexes by their low temperature fluorescence emission spectra. The protein subunits of the PSII–LHC resolved by 2D CN/SDS-PAGE were analyzed by mass spectrometry, and four different LHC proteins were identified. Phylogenetic analysis of the identified LHC protein sequences revealed that they belonged to four different Lhc groups; (1) stress-related Lhcx proteins, (2) fucoxanthin chlorophyll a/c-binding Lhcf proteins, (3) red-shifted Chromera light-harvesting proteins (Red-CLH), and (4) Lhcr proteins, which are commonly found in organisms possessing red algal plastids. This is the first report showing evidence of a pigment–protein supercomplex consisting of PSII and LHCs, and to identify PSII-associated LHC proteins in Nannochloropsis.
Keywords: Light-harvesting complex; Photosystem II; Nannochloropsis ; CN–PAGE

The OJDIP rise in chlorophyll fluorescence during induction at different light intensities was mathematically modeled using 24 master equations describing electron transport through photosystem II (PSII) plus ordinary differential equations for electron budgets in plastoquinone, cytochrome f, plastocyanin, photosystem I, and ferredoxin. A novel feature of the model is consideration of electron in- and outflow budgets resulting in changes in redox states of Tyrosine Z, P680, and QA as sole bases for changes in fluorescence yield during the transient. Ad hoc contributions by transmembrane electric fields, protein conformational changes, or other putative quenching species were unnecessary to account for primary features of the phenomenon, except a peculiar slowdown of intra-PSII electron transport during induction at low light intensities. The lower than F m post-flash fluorescence yield F f was related to oxidized tyrosine Z. The transient J peak was associated with equal rates of electron arrival to and departure from QA and requires that electron transfer from QA to QB be slower than that from QA to QB . Strong quenching by oxidized P680 caused the dip D. Reduced plastoquinone, a competitive product inhibitor of PSII, blocked electron transport proportionally with its concentration. Electron transport rate indicated by fluorescence quenching was faster than the rate indicated by O2 evolution, because oxidized donor side carriers quench fluorescence but do not transport electrons. The thermal phase of the fluorescence rise beyond the J phase was caused by a progressive increase in the fraction of PSII with reduced QA and reduced donor side.
Keywords: Photosystem II; Chl fluorescence; Induction; Electron transport; Mathematical model

Lumenal extrinsic proteins PsbO, PsbP, and PsbQ of photosystem II (PSII) protect the catalytic cluster Mn4CaO5 of oxygen-evolving complex (OEC) from the bulk solution and from soluble compounds in the surrounding medium. Extraction of PsbP and PsbQ proteins by NaCl-washing together with chelator EGTA is followed also by the depletion of Ca2+ cation from OEC. In this study, the effects of PsbP and PsbQ proteins, as well as Ca2+ extraction from OEC on the kinetics of the reduced primary electron acceptor (QA ) oxidation, have been studied by fluorescence decay kinetics measurements in PSII membrane fragments. We found that in addition to the impairment of OEC, removal of PsbP and PsbQ significantly slows the rate of electron transfer from QA to the secondary quinone acceptor QB. Electron transfer from QA to QB in photosystem II membranes with an occupied QB site was slowed down by a factor of 8. However, addition of EGTA or CaCl2 to NaCl-washed PSII did not change the kinetics of fluorescence decay. Moreover, the kinetics of QA oxidation by QB in Ca-depleted PSII membranes obtained by treatment with citrate buffer at pH 3.0 (such treatment keeps all extrinsic proteins in PSII but extracts Ca2+ from OEC) was not changed. The results obtained indicate that the effect of NaCl-washing on the QA to QB electron transport is due to PsbP and PsbQ extrinsic proteins extraction, but not due to Ca2+ depletion.
Keywords: Photosystem II; Oxygen-evolving complex; Manganese; Calcium; QA ; Fluorescence

Photosystem II (PS II) contains two redox-active tyrosine residues on the donor side at symmetrical positions to the primary donor, P680. TyrZ, part of the water-oxidizing complex, is a preferential fast electron donor while TyrD is a slow auxiliary donor to P680 +. We used PS II membranes from spinach which were depleted of the water oxidation complex (Mn-depleted PS II) to study electron donation from both tyrosines by time-resolved EPR spectroscopy under visible and far-red continuous light and laser flash illumination. Our results show that under both illumination regimes, oxidation of TyrD occurs via equilibrium with TyrZ at pH 4.7 and 6.3. At pH 8.5 direct TyrD oxidation by P680 + occurs in the majority of the PS II centers. Under continuous far-red light illumination these reactions were less effective but still possible. Different photochemical steps were considered to explain the far-red light-induced electron donation from tyrosines and localization of the primary electron hole (P680 +) on the ChlD1 in Mn-depleted PS II after the far-red light-induced charge separation at room temperature is suggested.
Keywords: Photosystem II; Tyrosine Z and D; Electron transfer; Far-red light

Photosystem I-LHCII megacomplexes respond to high light and aging in plants by Eliezer M. Schwarz; Stephanie Tietz; John E. Froehlich (107-124).
The funding statement in the last sentence of the Acknowledgements section in the original publication is incorrect. The corrected Acknowledgements section is printed below.Photosystem II is known to be a highly dynamic multi-protein complex that participates in a variety of regulatory and repair processes. In contrast, photosystem I (PSI) has, until quite recently, been thought of as relatively static. We report the discovery of plant PSI-LHCII megacomplexes containing multiple LHCII trimers per PSI reaction center. These PSI-LHCII megacomplexes respond rapidly to changes in light intensity, as visualized by native gel electrophoresis. PSI-LHCII megacomplex formation was found to require thylakoid stacking, and to depend upon growth light intensity and leaf age. These factors were, in turn, correlated with changes in PSI/PSII ratios and, intriguingly, PSI-LHCII megacomplex dynamics appeared to depend upon PSII core phosphorylation. These findings suggest new functions for PSI and a new level of regulation involving specialized subpopulations of photosystem I which have profound implications for current models of thylakoid dynamics.
Keywords: Photosystem I; Photosystem II; LHC; Complex; Supercomplex; Megacomplex; High light; Senescence; PsaH; Native gel; Green gel

Correction to: Photosystem I-LHCII megacomplexes respond to high light and aging in plants by Eliezer M. Schwarz; Stephanie Tietz; John E. Froehlich (125-125).
The funding statement in the last sentence of the Acknowledgements section in the original publication is incorrect. The corrected Acknowledgements section is printed below.

Correction to: Arctic Micromonas uses protein pools and non-photochemical quenching to cope with temperature restrictions on Photosystem II protein turnover by Guangyan Ni; Gabrielle Zimbalatti; Cole D. Murphy; Audrey B. Barnett; Christopher M. Arsenault; Gang Li; Amanda M. Cockshutt; Douglas A. Campbell (127-127).
In Table 2 of the original publication, all instances of krec in the Parameter and Equation columns should read krecinact.