Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 757–763 | Cite as

Effects of heat stress on photosynthetic electron transport in a marine cyanobacterium Arthrospira sp.

  • Litao Zhang
  • Jianguo Liu
1st International Coastal Biology Congress, Yantai, China


Arthrospira (Spirulina) is widely used as human health food and animal feed. In cultures grown outdoors in open ponds, Arthrospira cells are subjected to various environmental stresses, such as high temperature. A better understanding of the effects of high temperature on photosynthesis may help optimize the productivity of Arthrospira cultures. In this study, the effects of heat stress on photosynthetic rate, chlorophyll a fluorescence transients, and photosystem (PS) II, PSI activities in a marine cyanobacterium Arthrospira sp. were examined. Arthrospira cells grown at 25 °C were treated for 30 min at 25 (control), 30, 34, 37, or 40 °C in the dark. Heat stress (30–37 °C) enhanced net photosynthetic O2 evolution rate. Heat stress caused over-reduction PSII acceptor side, damage of donor side of PSII, decrease in the energetic connectivity of PSII units, and decrease in the performance of PSII. When the temperature changed from 25 to 37 °C, PSII activity decreased, while PSI activity increased, the enhancement of photosynthetic O2 evolution was synchronized with the increase in PSI activity. When temperature was further increased to 40 °C, it induced a decrease in photosynthetic O2 evolution rate and a more severe decrease in PSII activity, but an increase in PSI activity. These results suggest that PSI activity was the decisive factor determining the change of photosynthetic O2 evolution when Arthrospira was exposed to a temperature from 25 to 37 °C, but then, PSII activity became the decisive factor adjusting the change of photosynthetic O2 evolution when the temperature was increased to 40 °C.


Arthrospira Electron transport Heat stress Photosynthesis 



The work was supported by the Key Project of Jiangsu Natural Science Foundation (BK2011009), Prospective Project for Production and Research Cooperation of Jiangsu (BY2013044), and the Innovation Fund Designated for Post Doctors of Shandong Province (201203107).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National & Local Joint Engineering Laboratory of Ecological Mariculture, Institute of OceanologyChinese Academy of SciencesQingdaoPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Nantong Branch, Institute of OceanologyChinese Academy of SciencesNantongPeople’s Republic of China

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