Photoprotective energy dissipation in higher plants involves alteration of the excited state energy of the emitting chlorophyll(s) in the light harvesting antenna II (LHCII).
ABSTRACT: Non-photochemical quenching (NPQ), a mechanism of energy dissipation in higher plants protects photosystem II (PSII) reaction centers from damage by excess light. NPQ involves a reduction in the chlorophyll excited state lifetime in the PSII harvesting antenna (LHCII) by a quencher. Yet, little is known about the effect of the quencher on chlorophyll excited state energy and dynamics. Application of picosecond time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy demonstrated that NPQ involves a red-shift (60 +/- 5 cm(-1)) and slight enhancement of the vibronic satellite of the main PSII lifetime component present in intact chloroplasts. Whereas this fluorescence red-shift was enhanced by the presence of zeaxanthin, it was not dependent upon it. The red-shifted fluorescence of intact chloroplasts in the NPQ state was accompanied by red-shifted chlorophyll a absorption. Nearly identical absorption and fluorescence changes were observed in isolated LHCII complexes quenched in a low detergent media, suggesting that the mechanism of quenching is the same in both systems. In both cases, the extent of the fluorescence red-shift was shown to correlate with the lifetime of a component. The alteration in the energy of the emitting chlorophyll(s) in intact chloroplasts and isolated LHCII was also accompanied by changes in lutein 1 observed in their 77K fluorescence excitation spectra. We suggest that the characteristic red-shifted fluorescence emission reflects an altered environment of the emitting chlorophyll(s) in LHCII brought about by their closer interaction with lutein 1 in the quenching locus.
Project description:In nature, plants experience large fluctuations in light intensity and they need to balance the absorption and utilization of this energy appropriately. Non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) is a rapidly switchable mechanism that protects plants from photodamage caused by high light exposure by dissipating the excess absorbed energy as heat. It is triggered by the pH gradient across the thylakoid membrane and requires the protein PsbS and the xanthophyll zeaxanthin. However, the site and mechanism of the quencher(s) remain unknown. Here, we constructed a mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana that lacks light-harvesting complex II (LHCII), the main antenna complex of plants, to verify its contribution to NPQ. The mutant plant has normally stacked thylakoid membranes, displays no upregulation of other LHCs but shows a relative decrease in Photosystem I (PSI), which compensates for the decrease of the PSII antenna. The mutant plant exhibits a reduction in NPQ of about 60% and the remaining NPQ resembles that of mutant plants lacking chlorophyll (Chl) b, which lack all PSII peripheral antenna complexes. We thus report that PsbS-dependent NPQ occurs mainly in LHCII, but there is an additional quenching site in the PSII core.
Project description:The maximum chlorophyll fluorescence lifetime in isolated photosystem II (PSII) light-harvesting complex (LHCII) antenna is 4 ns; however, it is quenched to 2 ns in intact thylakoid membranes when PSII reaction centers (RCIIs) are closed (Fm). It has been proposed that the closed state of RCIIs is responsible for the quenching. We investigated this proposal using a new, to our knowledge, model system in which the concentration of RCIIs was highly reduced within the thylakoid membrane. The system was developed in Arabidopsis thaliana plants under long-term treatment with lincomycin, a chloroplast protein synthesis inhibitor. The treatment led to 1), a decreased concentration of RCIIs to 10% of the control level and, interestingly, an increased antenna component; 2), an average reduction in the yield of photochemistry to 0.2; and 3), an increased nonphotochemical chlorophyll fluorescence quenching (NPQ). Despite these changes, the average fluorescence lifetimes measured in Fm and Fm' (with NPQ) states were nearly identical to those obtained from the control. A 77 K fluorescence spectrum analysis of treated PSII membranes showed the typical features of preaggregation of LHCII, indicating that the state of LHCII antenna in the dark-adapted photosynthetic membrane is sufficient to determine the 2 ns Fm lifetime. Therefore, we conclude that the closed RCs do not cause quenching of excitation in the PSII antenna, and play no role in the formation of NPQ.
Project description:Light-harvesting complex II (LHCII) is pivotal both for collecting solar radiation for photosynthesis, and for protection against photodamage under high light intensities (via a process called nonphotochemical quenching, NPQ). Aggregation of LHCII is associated with fluorescence quenching, and is used as an in vitro model system of NPQ. However, there is no agreement on the nature of the quencher and on the validity of aggregation as a model system. Here, we use ultrafast multipulse spectroscopy to populate a quenched state in unquenched (unaggregated) LHCII. The state shows characteristic features of lutein and chlorophyll, suggesting that it is an excitonically coupled state between these two compounds. This state decays in approximately 10 ps, making it a strong competitor for photodamage and photochemical quenching. It is observed in trimeric and monomeric LHCII, upon re-excitation with pulses of different wavelengths and duration. We propose that this state is always present, but is scarcely populated under low light intensities. Under high light intensities it may become more accessible, e.g. by conformational changes, and then form a quenching channel. The same state may be the cause of fluorescence blinking observed in single-molecule spectroscopy of LHCII trimers, where a small subpopulation is in an energetically higher state where the pathway to the quencher opens up.
Project description:Photosynthetic organisms prevent oxidative stress from light energy absorbed in excess through several photoprotective mechanisms. A major component is thermal dissipation of chlorophyll singlet excited states and is called nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ). NPQ is catalyzed in green algae by protein subunits called LHCSRs (Light Harvesting Complex Stress Related), homologous to the Light Harvesting Complexes (LHC), constituting the antenna system of both photosystem I (PSI) and PSII. We investigated the role of LHCSR1 and LHCSR3 in NPQ activation to verify whether these proteins are involved in thermal dissipation of PSI excitation energy, in addition to their well-known effect on PSII. To this aim, we measured the fluorescence emitted at 77 K by whole cells in a quenched or unquenched state, using green fluorescence protein as the internal standard. We show that NPQ activation by high light treatment in <i>Chlamydomonas reinhardtii</i> leads to energy quenching in both PSI and PSII antenna systems. By analyzing quenching properties of mutants affected on the expression of LHCSR1 or LHCSR3 gene products and/or state 1-state 2 transitions or zeaxanthin accumulation, namely, <i>npq4</i>, <i>stt7</i>, <i>stt7 npq4</i>, <i>npq4 lhcsr1</i>, <i>lhcsr3</i>-complemented <i>npq4 lhcsr1</i> and <i>npq1</i>, we showed that PSI undergoes NPQ through quenching of the associated LHCII antenna. This quenching event is fast-reversible on switching the light off, is mainly related to LHCSR3 activity, and is dependent on thylakoid luminal pH. Moreover, PSI quenching could also be observed in the absence of zeaxanthin or STT7 kinase activity.
Project description:Low-temperature fluorescence measurements are frequently used in photosynthesis research to assess photosynthetic processes. Upon illumination of photosystem II (PSII) frozen to 77 K, fluorescence quenching is observed. In this work, we studied the light-induced quenching in intact cells of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii at 77 K using time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy with a streak camera setup. In agreement with previous studies, global analysis of the data shows that prolonged illumination of the sample affects the nanosecond decay component of the PSII emission. Using target analysis, we resolved the quenching on the PSII-684 compartment which describes bulk chlorophyll molecules of the PSII core antenna. Further, we quantified the quenching rate constant and observed that as the illumination proceeds the accumulation of the quencher leads to a speed up of the fluorescence decay of the PSII-684 compartment as the decay rate constant increases from about 3 to 4 ns-?1. The quenching on PSII-684 leads to indirect quenching of the compartments PSII-690 and PSII-695 which represent the red chlorophyll of the PSII core. These results explain past and current observations of light-induced quenching in 77 K steady-state and time-resolved fluorescence spectra.
Project description:Light-Harvesting Complex II (LHCII) is a chlorophyll-protein antenna complex that efficiently absorbs solar energy and transfers electronic excited states to photosystems I and II. Under excess light intensity LHCII can adopt a photoprotective state in which excitation energy is safely dissipated as heat, a process known as Non-Photochemical Quenching (NPQ). In vivo NPQ is triggered by combinatorial factors including transmembrane ΔpH, PsbS protein and LHCII-bound zeaxanthin, leading to dramatically shortened LHCII fluorescence lifetimes. In vitro, LHCII in detergent solution or in proteoliposomes can reversibly adopt an NPQ-like state, via manipulation of detergent/protein ratio, lipid/protein ratio, pH or pressure. Previous spectroscopic investigations revealed changes in exciton dynamics and protein conformation that accompany quenching, however, LHCII-LHCII interactions have not been extensively studied. Here, we correlated fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) of trimeric LHCII adsorbed to mica substrates and manipulated the environment to cause varying degrees of quenching. AFM showed that LHCII self-assembled onto mica forming 2D-aggregates (25-150 nm width). FLIM determined that LHCII in these aggregates were in a quenched state, with much lower fluorescence lifetimes (~0.25 ns) compared to free LHCII in solution (2.2-3.9 ns). LHCII-LHCII interactions were disrupted by thylakoid lipids or phospholipids, leading to intermediate fluorescent lifetimes (0.6-0.9 ns). To our knowledge, this is the first in vitro correlation of nanoscale membrane imaging with LHCII quenching. Our findings suggest that lipids could play a key role in modulating the extent of LHCII-LHCII interactions within the thylakoid membrane and so the propensity for NPQ activation.
Project description:Selective 2-photon excitation (TPE) of carotenoid dark states, Car S(1), shows that in the major light-harvesting complex of photosystem II (LHCII), the extent of electronic interactions between carotenoid dark states (Car S(1)) and chlorophyll (Chl) states, phi(Coupling)(Car S(1)-Chl), correlates linearly with chlorophyll fluorescence quenching under different experimental conditions. Simultaneously, a linear correlation between both Chl fluorescence quenching and phi(Coupling)(Car S(1)-Chl) with the intensity of red-shifted bands in the Chl Q(y) and carotenoid absorption was also observed. These results suggest quenching excitonic Car S(1)-Chl states as origin for the observed effects. Furthermore, real time measurements of the light-dependent down- and up-regulation of the photosynthetic activity and phi(Coupling)(Car S(1)-Chl) in wild-type and mutant (npq1, npq2, npq4, lut2 and WT+PsbS) Arabidopsis thaliana plants reveal that also in vivo the quenching parameter NPQ correlates always linearly with the extent of electronic Car S(1)-Chl interactions in any adaptation status. Our in vivo measurements with Arabidopsis variants show that during high light illumination, phi(Coupling)(Car S(1)-Chl) depends on the presence of PsbS and zeaxanthin (Zea) in an almost identical way as NPQ. In summary, these results provide clear evidence for a very close link between electronic Car S(1)-Chl interactions and the regulation of photosynthesis. These findings support a photophysical mechanism in which short-living, low excitonic carotenoid-chlorophyll states serve as traps and dissipation valves for excess excitation energy.
Project description:It has been known that PSI and PSII supercomplexes are involved in the linear and cyclic electron transfer, dynamics of light capture, and the repair cycle of PSII under environmental stresses. However, evolutions of photosystem (PS) complexes from evolutionarily divergent species are largely unknown. Here, we improved the blue native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (BN-PAGE) separation method and successfully separated PS complexes from all terrestrial plants. It is well known that reversible D1 protein phosphorylation is an important protective mechanism against oxidative damages to chloroplasts through the PSII photoinhibition-repair cycle. The results indicate that antibody-detectable phosphorylation of D1 protein is the latest event in the evolution of PS protein phosphorylation and occurs exclusively in seed plants. Compared to angiosperms, other terrestrial plant species presented much lower contents of PS supercomplexes. The amount of light-harvesting complexes II (LHCII) trimers was higher than that of LHCII monomers in angiosperms, whereas it was opposite in gymnosperms, pteridophytes, and bryophytes. LHCII assembly may be one of the evolutionary characteristics of vascular plants. <i>In vivo</i> chloroplast fluorescence measurements indicated that lower plants (bryophytes especially) showed slower changes in state transition and nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ) in response to light shifts. Therefore, the evolution of PS supercomplexes may be correlated with their acclimations to environments.
Project description:The quenching of chlorophyll fluorescence caused by photodamage of Photosystem II (qI) is a well recognized phenomenon, where the nature and physiological role of which are still debatable. Paradoxically, photodamage to the reaction centre of Photosystem II is supposed to be alleviated by excitation quenching mechanisms which manifest as fluorescence quenchers. Here we investigated the time course of PSII photodamage in vivo and in vitro and that of picosecond time-resolved chlorophyll fluorescence (quencher formation). Two long-lived fluorescence quenching processes during photodamage were observed and were formed at different speeds. The slow-developing quenching process exhibited a time course similar to that of the accumulation of photodamaged PSII, while the fast-developing process took place faster than the light-induced PSII damage. We attribute the slow process to the accumulation of photodamaged PSII and the fast process to an independent quenching mechanism that precedes PSII photodamage and that alleviates the inactivation of the PSII reaction centre.
Project description:Under excess illumination, the Photosystem II light-harvesting antenna of higher plants has the ability to switch into an efficient photoprotective mode, allowing safe dissipation of excitation energy into heat. In this study, we show induction of the energy dissipation state, monitored by chlorophyll fluorescence quenching, in the isolated major light-harvesting complex (LHCII) incorporated into a solid gel system. Removal of detergent caused strong fluorescence quenching, which was totally reversible. Singlet-singlet annihilation and gel electrophoresis experiments suggested that the quenched complexes were in the trimeric not aggregated state. Both the formation and recovery of this quenching state were inhibited by a cross-linker, implying involvement of conformational changes. Absorption and CD measurements performed on the samples in the quenched state revealed specific alterations in the spectral bands assigned to the red forms of chlorophyll a, neoxanthin, and lutein 1 molecules. The majority of these alterations were similar to those observed during LHCII aggregation. This suggests that not the aggregation process as such but rather an intrinsic conformational transition in the complex is responsible for establishment of quenching. 77 K fluorescence measurements showed red-shifted chlorophyll a fluorescence in the 690-705 nm region, previously observed in aggregated LHCII. The fact that all spectral changes associated with the dissipative mode observed in the gel were different from those of the partially denatured complex strongly argues against the involvement of protein denaturation in the observed quenching. The implications of these findings for proposed mechanisms of energy dissipation in the Photosystem II antenna are discussed.