Institute of Crystallography - CNR

Investigation of Photosystem II Functional Size in Higher Plants under Physiological and Stress Conditions Using Radiation Target Analysis

The photosystem II (PSII) reaction centre is the critical supramolecular pigment-protein complex in the chloroplast which catalyses the light-induced transfer of electrons from water to plastoquinone. Structural studies have demonstrated the existence of an oligomeric PSII. We carried out radiation inactivation target analysis (RTA), together with sucrose gradient ultracentrifugation (SGU) of PSII, to study the functional size of PSII in diverse plant species under physiological and stress conditions. Two PSII populations, made of dimeric and monomeric core particles, were revealed in Pisum sativum, Spinacea oleracea, Phaseulus vulgaris, Medicago sativa, Zea mais and Triticum durum.
However, this core pattern was not ubiquitous in the higher plants since we found one monomeric core population in Vicia faba and a dimeric core in the Triticum durum yellow-green strain, respectively.
The PSII functional sizes measured in the plant seedlings in vivo, as a decay of the maximum quantum yield of PSII for primary photochemistry, were in the range of 75-101 18 kDa, 2 to 3 times lower than those determined in vitro. Two abiotic stresses, heat and drought, imposed individually on Pisum sativum, increased the content of the dimeric core in SGU and the minimum functional size determined by RTA in vivo. These data suggest that PSII can also function as a monomer in vivo,
while under heat and drought stress conditions, the dimeric PSII structure is predominant.

Molecules (Basel, Online)
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Giardi Maria Teresa; Antonacci Amina; Touloupakis Eleftherios; Mattoo Autar K.
Authors IC CNR