, Volume 248, Issue 3, pp 601–612 | Cite as

Survey of the occurrence of desiccation-induced quenching of basal fluorescence in 28 species of green microalgae

  • Paul Christian WienersEmail author
  • Opayi Mudimu
  • Wolfgang Bilger
Original Article


Main conclusion

Desiccation-induced chlorophyll fluorescence quenching seems to be an indispensable part of desiccation resistance in the surveyed 28 green microalgal species.

Lichens are desiccation tolerant meta-organisms. In the desiccated state photosynthesis is inhibited rendering the photobionts potentially sensitive to photoinhibition. As a photoprotective mechanism, strong non-radiative dissipation of absorbed light leading to quenching of chlorophyll fluorescence has been proposed. Desiccation-induced quenching affects not only variable fluorescence, but also the so-called basal fluorescence, F0. This phenomenon is well-known for intact lichens and some free living aero-terrestrial algae, but it was often absent in isolated lichen algae. Therefore, a thorough screening for the appearance of desiccation-induced quenching was undertaken with 13 different aero-terrestrial microalgal species and lichen photobionts. They were compared with 15 aquatic green microalgal species, among them also three marine species. We asked the following questions: Do isolated lichen algae show desiccation-induced quenching? Are aero-terrestrial algae different in this respect to aquatic algae and is the potential for desiccation-induced quenching coupled to desiccation tolerance? How variable is desiccation-induced quenching among species? Most of the aero-terrestrial algae, including all lichen photobionts, showed desiccation-induced quenching, although highly variable in extent, whereas most of the aquatic algae did not. All algae displaying quenching were also desiccation tolerant, whereas all algae unable to perform desiccation-induced quenching were desiccation intolerant. Desiccation-induced fluorescence quenching seems to be an indispensable part of desiccation resistance in the investigated species.


Aero-terrestrial algae Desiccation tolerance Lichens Photobionts Photoprotection 



Desiccation-induced chlorophyll fluorescence quenching


Relative air humidity


Culture Collection of Algae at the University of Göttingen, Catalogue Number



The Culture Collection of Algae at the University of Göttingen (SAG) kindly provided the algae strains. Frank-Peter Rapp and Jens Hermann helped in the construction of the apparatus for the desiccation experiments.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Christian Wieners
    • 1
    Email author
  • Opayi Mudimu
    • 1
  • Wolfgang Bilger
    • 1
  1. 1.Botanical Institute, Christian-Albrechts University of KielKielGermany

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