Origin of Absorption Changes Associated with Photoprotective Energy Dissipation in the Absence of Zeaxanthin
Grondelle, R. van
MetadataShow full item record
To prevent photo-oxidative damage to the photosynthetic membrane in strong light, plants dissipate excess absorbed light energy as heat in a mechanism known as non-photochemical quenching (NPQ). NPQ is triggered by the transmembrane proton gradient (Delta pH), which causes the protonation of the photosystem II light-harvesting antenna (LHCII) and the PsbS protein, as well as the de-epoxidation of the xanthophyll violaxanthin to zeaxanthin. The combination of these factors brings about formation of dissipative pigment interactions that quench the excess energy. The formation of NPQ is associated with certain absorption changes that have been suggested to reflect a conformational change in LHCII brought about by its protonation. The light-minus-dark recovery absorption difference spectrum is characterized by a series of positive and negative bands, the best known of which is Delta A(535). Light-minus-dark recovery resonance Raman difference spectra performed at the wavelength of the absorption change of interest allows identification of the pigment responsible from its unique vibrational signature. Using this technique, the origin of Delta A(535) was previously shown to be a subpopulation of red-shifted zeaxanthin molecules. In the absence of zeaxanthin (and antheraxanthin), a proportion of NPQ remains, and the Delta A(535) change is blue-shifted to 525 nm (Delta A(525)). Using resonance Raman spectroscopy, it is shown that the Delta A(525) absorption change in Arabidopsis leaves lacking zeaxanthin belongs to a red-shifted subpopulation of violaxanthin molecules formed during NPQ. The presence of the same Delta A(535) and Delta A(525) Raman signatures in vitro in aggregated LHCII, containing zeaxanthin and violaxanthin, respectively, leads to a new proposal for the origin of the xanthophyll red shifts associated with NPQ.