Journal Article Chlorophyll b degradation by chlorophyll b reductase under high-light conditions

Sato, Rei  ,  Ito, Hisashi  ,  Tanaka, Ayumi

126 ( 2 )  , pp.249 - 259 , 2015-04-21 , Springer
The light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b binding protein complex of photosystem II (LHCII) is the main antenna complex of photosystem II (PSII). Plants change their LHCII content depending on the light environment. Under high-light conditions, the content of LHCII should decrease because over-excitation damages the photosystem. Chlorophyll b is indispensable for accumulating LHCII, and chlorophyll b degradation induces LHCII degradation. Chlorophyll b degradation is initiated by chlorophyll b reductase (CBR). In land plants, NON-YELLOW COLORING 1 (NYC1) and NYC1-Like (NOL) are isozymes of CBR. We analyzed these mutants to determine their functions under high-light conditions. During high-light treatment, the chlorophyll a/b ratio was stable in the wild-type (WT) and nol plants, and the LHCII content decreased in WT plants. The chlorophyll a/b ratio decreased in the nyc1 and nyc1/nol plants, and a substantial degree of LHCII was retained in nyc1/nol plants after the high-light treatment. These results demonstrate that NYC1 degrades the chlorophyll b on LHCII under high-light conditions, thus decreasing the LHCII content. After the high-light treatment, the maximum quantum efficiency of the PSII photochemistry was lower in nyc1 and nyc1/nol plants than in WT and nol plants. A larger light-harvesting system would damage PSII in nyc1 and nyc1/nol plants. The fluorescence spectroscopy of the leaves indicated that photosystem I was also damaged by the excess LHCII in nyc1/nol plants. These observations suggest that chlorophyll b degradation by NYC1 is the initial reaction for the optimization of the light-harvesting capacity under high-light conditions.

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