Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 139, Issue 1–3, pp 155–161 | Cite as

Regulation of excitation energy in Nannochloropsis photosystem II

  • Makio YokonoEmail author
  • Ikumi Umetani
  • Atushi Takabayashi
  • Seiji Akimoto
  • Ayumi Tanaka
Original Article


Recently, we isolated a complex consisting of photosystem II (PSII) and light-harvesting complexes (LHCs) from Nannochloropsis granulata (Umetani et al. Photosynth Res 136:49–61, 2017). This complex contained stress-related protein, Lhcx, as a major component of LHC (Protein ID is Naga_100173g12.1), suggesting that non-photochemical quenching activities may be taking place in the PSII-LHC complex. In this study, we examined the energy transfer dynamics in the isolated LHCs and PSII-LHC complexes, and found substantial quenching capacity. In addition, the LHCs contained low-energy chlorophylls with fluorescence maxima at approximately 710 nm, which may enhance the quenching efficiency in the PSII-LHC. Delayed fluorescence analysis suggested that there was an approximately 50% reduction in energy trapping at the PSII reaction center in the PSII-LHC supercomplex under low-pH condition compared to neutral pH condition. Enhanced quenching may confer a survival advantage in the shallow-water habitat of Nannochloropsis.


Nannochloropsis PSII NPQ LHCII Diatom 



Photosystem II


Light-harvesting complex


Clear-native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis


Fluorescence decay-associated spectra



This work was supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (KAKENHI Grant No. 16H06553 to S. Akimoto, grant-in-aid for Young Scientists 23770035 to A. Takabayashi, and Scientific Research Grant 24370017 to A. Tanaka) and the University College of Southeast Norway. We thank Shelley Robison, PhD, from Edanz Group ( for editing a draft of this manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

M.Y. is employee of NIPPON FLOUR MILLS Co.,Ltd.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Innovation CenterNippon Flour Mills Co., Ltd.AtsugiJapan
  2. 2.Institute of Low Temperature ScienceHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan
  3. 3.Department of Natural Sciences and Environmental HealthUniversity College of Southeast NorwayNorway
  4. 4.Graduate School of ScienceKobe UniversityKobeJapan

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