To elucidate the molecular mechanism to oxidize the reaction center chlorophyll, P700, in PSI, we researched the effects of partial pressure of O2 (pO2) on photosynthetic characteristic parameters in sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) leaves. Under low CO2 conditions, the oxidation of P700 was stimulated; however the decrease in pO2 suppressed its oxidation. Electron fluxes in PSII [Y(II)] and PSI [Y(I)] showed pO2-dependence at low CO2 conditions. H+-consumption rate, estimated from Y(II) and CO2-fixation/photorespiration rates (JgH+), showed the positive curvature relationship with the dissipation rate of electrochromic shift signal (VH +), which indicates H+-efflux rate from lumen to stroma in chloroplasts. Therefore, these electron fluxes contained, besides CO2-fixation/photorespiration-dependent electron fluxes, non-H+-consumption electron fluxes including Mehler-ascorbate peroxidase (MAP)-pathway. Y(I) that was larger than Y(II) surely implies the functioning of cyclic electron flow (CEF). Both MAP-pathway and CEF were suppressed at lower pO2, with plastoquinone-pool reduced. That is, photorespiration prepares the redox-poise of photosynthetic electron transport system for CEF activity as an electron sink. Excess Y(II), [ΔY(II)] giving the curvature relationship with VH +, and excess Y(I) [ΔCEF] giving the difference between Y(I) and Y(II) were used as an indicator of MAP-pathway and CEF activity, respectively. Although ΔY(II) was negligible and did not show positive relationship to the oxidation-state of P700, ΔCEF showed positive linear relationship to the oxidation-state of P700. These facts indicate that CEF cooperatively with photorespiration regulates the redox-state of P700 to suppress the over-reduction in PSI under environmental stress conditions.
- Cyclic electron flow
- Electron sink
- Mehler-ascorbate peroxidase (MAP)-pathway
- Photosystem I