Role of xanthophyll and water-water cycles in the protection of photosynthetic apparatus in Arbutus unedo and Arabidopsis thaliana

Zamboni, Alessandro (2007) Role of xanthophyll and water-water cycles in the protection of photosynthetic apparatus in Arbutus unedo and Arabidopsis thaliana, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Colture arboree ed agrosistemi forestali ornamentali e paesaggistici, 19 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/518.
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Photosynthetic organisms have sought out the delicate balance between efficient light harvesting under limited irradiance and regulated energy dissipation under excess irradiance. One of the protective mechanisms is the thermal energy dissipation through the xanthophyll cycle that may transform harmlessly the excitation energy into heat and thereby prevent the formation of damaging active oxygen species (AOS). Violaxanthin deepoxidase (VDE) converts violaxanthin (V) to antheraxanthin (A) and zeaxanthin (Z) defending the photosynthetic apparatus from excess of light. Another important biological pathway is the chloroplast water-water cycle, which is referred to the electrons from water generated in PSII reducing atmospheric O2 to water in PSI. This mechanism is active in the scavenging of AOS, when electron transport is slowed down by the over-reduction of NADPH pool. The control of the VDE gene and the variations of a set of physiological parameters, such as chlorophyll florescence and AOS content, have been investigated in response to excess of light and drought condition using Arabidopsis thaliana and Arbutus unedo.. Pigment analysis showed an unambiguous relationship between xanthophyll de-epoxidation state ((A+Z)/(V+A+Z)) and VDE mRNA amount in not-irrigated plants. Unexpectedly, gene expression is higher during the night when xanthophylls are mostly epoxidated and VDE activity is supposed to be very low than during the day. The importance of the water-water cycle in protecting the chloroplasts from light stress has been examined through Arabidopsis plant with a suppressed expression of the key enzyme of the cycle: the thylakoid-attached copper/zinc superoxide dismutase. The analysis revealed changes in transcript expression during leaf development consistent with a signalling role of AOS in plant defence responses but no difference was found any in photosynthesis efficiency or in AOS concentration after short-term exposure to excess of light. Environmental stresses such as drought may render previously optimal light levels excessive. In these circumstances the intrinsic regulations of photosynthetic electron transport like xanthophyll and water-water cycles might modify metabolism and gene expression in order to deal with increasing AOS.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Zamboni, Alessandro
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Xanthophyll Gene expression Drought
Data di discussione
21 Maggio 2007

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