, Volume 44, Issue 2, pp 262–267 | Cite as

Role of thermal dissipation in the photoprotection in cucumber plants after exposure to a chill stress

  • Y. H. Zhou
  • W. H. Mao
  • Y. Y. Zhang
  • L. F. Huang
  • W. H. Hu
  • J. Q. Yu


Experiments were carried out to investigate the changes in CO2 assimilation, photon allocation, and photosynthetic electron flux in leaves of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) plants after chilling stress. Chilling significantly decreased CO2 assimilation, the energy flux via linear electron transport (J PS2) and non-constitutive thermal dissipation (J NPQ) but increased fluorescence and constitutive thermal dissipation (J f,D) in chilling-sensitive genotype Jinyan No. 4. In contrast, chilling had little effects on J NPQ and J f,D although CO2 assimilation and J PS2 were inhibited in chilling-tolerant genotype Jinchun No. 3. In parallel with the reduction in J PS2, electron flux to oxygenation and carboxylation by ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase all significantly decreased while electron flux to O2 significantly increased, especially in chilling-sensitive genotype. Thermal and fluorescence dissipation were the main energy dissipation pathways whilst water-water cycle was an important electron sink when photosynthetic carbon reduction was suppressed after chilling. Chilling sensitivity of the photosynthetic apparatus was related to the operation of different photoprotection mechanisms.

Additional key words

alternative electron sink chilling Cucumis sativus photosynthesis photosystem 2 







maximal fluorescence yields

Fm’, Fs

maximal and steady-state fluorescence yields in a light-adapted state


alternative electron flux in PS2


electron flux for photosynthetic carbon reduction


electron flux for photorespiratory carbon oxidation


energy flux via fluorescence and constitutive thermal dissipation


energy flux via ΔpH-and xanthophyll-regulated thermal energy dissipation


energy flux via linear electron transport


photon-saturated CO2 assimilation rate


photosynthetic photon flux density




reactive oxygen species


ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase






quantum efficiency of fluorescence and constitutive thermal dissipation


quantum efficiency of ΔpH-and xanthophyll-regulated thermal energy dissipation


quantum efficiency of PS2 photochemistry


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Copyright information

© Institute of Experimental Botany, ASCR 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y. H. Zhou
    • 1
  • W. H. Mao
    • 1
  • Y. Y. Zhang
    • 1
  • L. F. Huang
    • 1
  • W. H. Hu
    • 1
  • J. Q. Yu
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Horticulture, Huajiachi CampusZhejiang UniversityHangzhouP.R. China
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Horticultural Plants Growth, Development and BiotechnologyAgricultural Ministry of ChinaHangzhouP.R. China

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