The Biogenesis of the Thylakoid Membrane: Photosystem II, a Case Study

  • Karin MeierhoffEmail author
  • Peter Westhoff
Part of the Advances in Photosynthesis and Respiration book series (AIPH, volume 36)


The thylakoid membrane of cyanobacteria and higher plants is a highly organized system of internal membranes that enclose the protein complexes of the photosynthetic apparatus. Photosystem II (PSII) is a central component of this machinery and it is responsible for catalyzing the light induced electron transfer from water to plastoquinone, generating almost all of the oxygen in the atmosphere. PSII is a multimeric chlorophyll-protein complex of dual genetic origin, whose biogenesis is a complicated and highly regulated process. Nuclear-encoded auxiliary factors coordinate the expression of plastid- and nuclear-encoded PSII subunits in response to environmental and endogenous cues. Studies performed with photosynthesis mutants of green algae and higher plants have revealed that these factors control the expression of the plastid-encoded genes at the posttranscriptional level. Many of the regulatory proteins are able to modify the efficiency of translation of specific PSII subunit transcripts, and redox regulation plays an important role in the control of these processes. The assembly of PSII proteins into a functional complex also requires the activity of nuclear-encoded factors, several of which are conserved throughout the plant kingdom, but some appear only in higher plants and green algae, indicating that new requirements for PSII assembly have evolved during evolution. Recent studies suggest that the initial steps of PSII biogenesis are localized to a specific region of the interior membrane system of chloroplasts and cyanobacteria.


PSII Complex Reaction Center Complex PSII Core Complex PSII Protein PSII Dimer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.





Arabidopsis translation of psaB mRNA;




Control by epistasy of synthesis;


Chloroplast RNA processing;




High chlorophyll fluorescence;


Light harvesting complex II;


Accumulation/maturation of psbB mRNA;


Oxygen evolving complex;


Poly(A)-binding protein;


Protein disulfide isomerase;


Peptidyl-prolyl isomerase;


Photosystem I;


Photosystem II;


RNA binding;


RNA binding protein;


Ribosome binding site;


PSII reaction center-like complex containing D1, D2 and PsbE/F;


PSII core complex lacking CP43;


Monomeric PSII core complex;


Dimeric PSII core complex;


Signal recognition particle;


Short chain dehydrogenase reductase;


Translation of psaB mRNA;


Translation of psbA mRNA;


Translation of psbC mRNA;


Tetratrico peptide repeat;


Untranslated region;




Hypothetical chloroplast open-reading frame



The research on PSII biogenesis was supported by a grant to P.W. from the German Science Foundation through SFB-TR1.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Developmental and Molecular Biology of PlantsHeinrich-Heine-University of DüsseldorfDüsseldorfGermany

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