Investigation of OCP-triggered dissipation of excitation energy in PSI/PSII-less Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 mutant using non-linear laser fluorimetry

F. I. Kuzminov, N. V. Karapetyan, M. G. Rakhimberdieva, I. V. Elanskaya, M. Y. Gorbunov, V. V. Fadeev

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28 Scopus citations


In order to prevent photodestruction by high light, photosynthetic organisms have evolved a number of mechanisms, known as non-photochemical quenching (NPQ), that deactivate the excited states of light harvesting pigments. Here we investigate the NPQ mechanism in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 mutant deficient in both photosystems. Using non-linear laser fluorimetry, we have determined molecular photophysical characteristics of phycocyanin and spectrally distinct forms of allophycocyanin for the cells in non-quenched and quenched states. Our analysis of non-linear fluorescence characteristics revealed that NPQ activation leads to an ~ 2-fold decrease in the relaxation times of both allophycocyanin fluorescence components, F660 and F680, and a 5-fold decrease in the effective excitation cross-section of F680, suggesting an emergence of a pathway of energy dissipation for both types of allophycocyanin. In contrast, NPQ does not affect the rates of singlet-singlet exciton annihilation. This indicates that, upon NPQ activation, the excess excitation energy is transferred from allophycocyanins to quencher molecules (presumably 3′hydroxyechinenone in the orange carotenoid protein), rather than being dissipated due to conformational changes of chromophores within the phycobilisome core. Kinetic measurements of fluorescence quenching in the Synechocystis mutant revealed the presence of several stages in NPQ development, as previously observed in the wild type. However, the lack of photosystems in the mutant enhanced the magnitude of NPQ as compared to the wild type, and allowed us to better characterize this process. Our results suggest a more complex kinetics of the NPQ process, thus clarifying a multistep model for the formation of the quenching center.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1012-1021
Number of pages10
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


  • Cyanobacterium
  • Energy dissipation
  • Fluorescence quenching
  • Non-linear laser fluorimetry
  • Non-photochemical quenching
  • Phycobilisome


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