Reaction centre quenching of excess light energy and photoprotection of photosystem II

  • Alexander G. Ivanov
  • Vaughan Hurry
  • Prafullachandra V. Sane
  • Gunnar Öquist
  • Norman P. A. Huner


In addition to the energy dissipation of excess light occurring in PSII antenna via the xanthophyll cycle, there is mounting evidence of a zeaxanthin-independent pathway for non-photochemical quenching based within the PSII reaction centre (reaction centre quenching) that may also play a significant role in photoprotection. It has been demonstrated that acclimation of higher plants, green algae and cyanobacteria to low temperature or high light conditions which potentially induce an imbalance between energy supply and energy utilization is accompanied by the development of higher reduction state of QA and higher resistance to photoinhibition (Huner et al., 1998). Although this is a fundamental feature of all photoautotrophs, and the acquisition of increased tolerance to photoinhibition has been ascribed to growth and development under high PSII excitation pressure, the precise mechanism controlling the redox state of QA and its physiological significance in developing higher resistance to photoinhibition has not been fully elucidated. In this review we summarize recent data indicating that the increased resistance to high light in a broad spectrum of photosynthetic organisms acclimated to high excitation pressure conditions is associated with an increase probability for alternative non-radiative P680+QA - radical pair recombination pathway for energy dissipation within the reaction centre of PSII. The various molecular mechanisms that could account for non-photochemical quenching through PSII reaction centre are also discussed.


electron transport energy dissipation non-photochemical quenching photoprotection photosystem II reaction centre quenching 



cytochromeb 559


photosystem II reaction centre polypeptide


photosystem II reaction centre polypeptide


minimum yield of chlorophyll fluorescence at open PSII centres in dark-adapted leaves


maximum yield of fluorescence at closed PSII reaction centres in dark adapted leaves


variable yield of fluorescence in dark adapted leaves


maximum PSII photochemical efficiency in dark adapted leaves


the major Chl a/b pigment-protein complex associated with PSII


non-photochemical quenching


oxygen evolving complex




photosystem I


photosystem II


photosystem β centres


photosystem a centres


PSII subunit and gene product of thePsbS gene




primary electron-accepting quinone in PSII reaction centres


secondary electron-accepting quinone in PSII reaction centres


ΔpH dependent high energy quenching; quenching coefficient for basal fluorescence


photochemical quenching coefficient




temperature of maximum thermoluminescence emission





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Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Korea 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexander G. Ivanov
    • 1
    • 2
  • Vaughan Hurry
    • 2
  • Prafullachandra V. Sane
    • 1
    • 2
  • Gunnar Öquist
    • 2
  • Norman P. A. Huner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biology and the BiotronUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  2. 2.Umeå Plant Science Centre, Department of Plant PhysiologyUrnea UniversityUmeå S-901 87Sweden

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