Evidence for alternative electron sinks to photosynthetic carbon assimilation in the high mountain plant species Ranunculus glacialis

P Streb, Eve-Marie Josse, E Gallouet, F Baptist, M Kuntz, G Cornic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The high mountain plant species Ranunculus glacialis has a low antioxidative scavenging capacity and a low activity of thermal dissipation of excess light energy despite its growth under conditions of frequent light and cold stress. In order to examine whether this species is protected from over-reduction by matching photosystem II (PSII) electron transport (ETR) and carbon assimilation, both were analysed simultaneously at various temperatures and light intensities using infrared gas absorption coupled with chlorophyll fluorescence. ETR exceeded electron consumption by carbon assimilation at higher light intensities and at all temperatures tested, necessitating alternative electron sinks. As photorespiration might consume the majority of excess electrons, photorespiration was inhibited by either high internal leaf CO2 molar ratio (C-i), low oxygen partial pressure (0.5% oxygen), or both. At 0.5% oxygen ETR was significantly lower than at 21% oxygen. At 21% oxygen, however, ETR still exceeded carbon assimilation at high C-i, suggesting that excess electrons are transferred to another oxygen consuming reaction when photorespiration is blocked. Nevertheless, photorespiration does contribute to electron consumption. While the activity of the water -water cycle to electron consumption is not known in leaves of R. glacialis, indirect evidence such as the high sensitivity to oxidative stress and the low initial NADP-malate dehydrogenase (NADP-MDH) activity suggests only a minor contribution as an alternative electron sink. Alternatively, the plastid terminal oxidase (PTOX) may transfer excess electrons to oxygen. This enzyme is highly abundant in R. glacialis leaves and exceeds the PTOX content of every other plant species so far examined, including those of transgenic tomato leaves overexpressing the PTOX protein. Finally, PTOX contents strongly declined during deacclimation of R. glacialis plants, suggesting their important role in photoprotection. Ranunculus glacialis is the first reported plant species with such a high PTOX protein content.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1123-1135
Number of pages13
JournalPlant, Cell and Environment
Volume28
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2005

Keywords

  • excess electron transport
  • over-reduction
  • photoprotection
  • photorespiration
  • plastid terminal oxidase (PTOX) itemperature and light stress
  • PLASTID TERMINAL OXIDASE
  • NADP-MALATE DEHYDROGENASE
  • WINTER RYE LEAVES
  • SOLDANELLA-ALPINA
  • PHOTOSYSTEM-II
  • IN-VITRO
  • CHLOROPHYLL FLUORESCENCE
  • PHOTOOXIDATIVE STRESS
  • ARABIDOPSIS-THALIANA
  • ANTIOXIDANT LEVELS
  • PTOX
  • immutans

Cite this