Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 142, Issue 3, pp 265–282 | Cite as

Slow induction of chlorophyll a fluorescence excited by blue and red light in Tradescantia leaves acclimated to high and low light

  • Olesya A. Kalmatskaya
  • Vladimir A. Karavaev
  • Alexander N. TikhonovEmail author
Original article


Tradescantia is a good model for assaying induction events in higher plant leaves. Chlorophyll (Chl) fluorescence serves as a sensitive reporter of the functional state of photosynthetic apparatus in chloroplasts. The fluorescence time-course depends on the leaf growth conditions and actinic light quality. In this work, we investigated slow induction of Chl a fluorescence (SIF) excited by blue light (BL, λmax = 455 nm) or red light (RL, λmax = 630 nm) in dark-adapted leaves of Tradescantia fluminensis acclimated to high light (~ 1000 µmol photons m−2 s−1; HL) or low light (~ 100 µmol photons m−2 s−1; LL). Our special interest was focused on the contribution of the avoidance response to SIF kinetics. Bearing in mind that BL and RL have different impacts on photoreceptors that initiate chloroplast movements within the cell (accumulation/avoidance responses), we have compared the SIF patterns during the action of BL and RL. The time-courses of SIF and kinetics of non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) of Chl a fluorescence revealed a certain difference when leaves were illuminated by BL or RL. In both cases, the yield of fluorescence rose to the maximal level P and then, after the lag-phase P–S–M1, the fluorescence level decreased toward the steady state T (via the intermediate phases M1–M2 and M2–T). In LL-acclimated leaves, the duration of the P–S–M1 phase was almost two times longer that in HL-grown plants. In the case of BL, the fluorescence decay included the transient phase M1–M2. This phase was obscure during the RL illumination. Non-photochemical quenching of Chl a fluorescence has been quantified as \( {\text{NPQ}} = F_{\text{m}}^{ 0} /F^{\prime}_{\text{m}} - 1 \), where \( F_{\text{m}}^{ 0} \) and \( F^{\prime}_{\text{m}} \) stand for the fluorescence response to saturating pulses of light applied to dark-adapted and illuminated samples, respectively. The time-courses of such a formally determined NPQ value were markedly different during the action of RL and BL. In LL-grown leaves, BL induced higher NPQ as compared to the action of RL. In HL-grown plants, the difference between the NPQ responses to BL and RL illumination was insignificant. Comparing the peculiarities of Chl a fluorescence induced by BL and RL, we conclude that the avoidance response can provide a marked contribution to SIF and NPQ generation. The dependence of NPQ on the quality of actinic light suggests that chloroplast movements within the cell have a noticeable impact on the formally determined NPQ value. Analyzing kinetics of post-illumination decay of NPQ in the context of solar stress resistance, we have found that LL-acclimated Tradescantia leaves are more vulnerable to strong light than the HL-grown leaves.


Photosynthesis Tradescantia fluminensis Induction events Regulation of photosynthetic electron transport 



Cytochrome b6f complex


Blue light


Calvin–Benson cycle




Electron paramagnetic resonance


Electron transport chain






High light


Low light


Non-photochemical quenching


Pulse amplitude modulation


Photon flux density


Proton motive force


Photosynthetic apparatus


Photosystem I


Photosystem II


Primary electron donor in PSI


Primary electron donor in PSII








Energy-dependent component of NPQ


Residual component of NPQ


Long-term component of NPQ


Red light


Slow induction of fluorescence


Short saturating pulse of light






Trans-thylakoid pH difference



We thank Dr. A. N. Baranov for his help in measuring the real intensities of blue and red light produced by a PAM-2500 fluorometer. We also thank Dr. V. V. Ptushenko for valuable discussion of the questions concerning anatomical aspects of Tradescantia leaves. We would like to express our gratitude to Reviewers for thorough reading of the manuscript and constructive comments.


This work has been partly supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (Grant 18-04-00214).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Olesya A. Kalmatskaya
    • 1
  • Vladimir A. Karavaev
    • 1
  • Alexander N. Tikhonov
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Faculty of PhysicsM.V. Lomonosov Moscow State UniversityMoscowRussia
  2. 2.N.M. Emanuel Institute of Biochemical Physics of Russian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia

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