Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 136, Issue 2, pp 215–228 | Cite as

Influence of the variation potential on photosynthetic flows of light energy and electrons in pea

  • Ekaterina Sukhova
  • Maxim Mudrilov
  • Vladimir Vodeneev
  • Vladimir Sukhov
Original Article


Local damage (mainly burning, heating, and mechanical wounding) induces propagation of electrical signals, namely, variation potentials, which are important signals during the life of plants that regulate different physiological processes, including photosynthesis. It is known that the variation potential decreases the rate of CO2 assimilation by the Calvin–Benson cycle; however, its influence on light reactions has been poorly investigated. The aim of our work was to investigate the influence of the variation potential on the light energy flow that is absorbed, trapped and dissipated per active reaction centre in photosystem II and on the flow of electrons through the chloroplast electron transport chain. We analysed chlorophyll fluorescence in pea leaves using JIP-test and PAM-fluorometry; we also investigated delayed fluorescence. The electrical signals were registered using extracellular electrodes. We showed that the burning-induced variation potential stimulated a nonphotochemical loss of energy in photosystem II under dark conditions. It was also shown that the variation potential gradually increased the flow of light energy absorbed, trapped and dissipated by photosystem II. These changes were likely caused by an increase in the fraction of absorbed light distributed to photosystem II. In addition, the variation potential induced a transient increase in electron flow through the photosynthetic electron transport chain. Some probable mechanisms for the influence of the variation potential on the light reactions of photosynthesis (including the potential role of intracellular pH decrease) are discussed in the work.


Electron flow Light energy dissipation Light energy flow pH changes Regulation of photosynthesis Variation potential 



The detailed investigation of photosynthetic flows of light energy and electrons was supported by the Russian Science Foundation (Project No. 17-76-20032). The investigation of the dependence of photosynthetic changes on variation potential propagation was supported by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation (contract no. 6.3199.2017/PCh).

Supplementary material

11120_2017_460_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (188 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 188 KB)


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiophysicsN.I. Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny NovgorodNizhny NovgorodRussia

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