Light energy management in peach: utilization, photoprotection , photodamage and recovery. Maximizing light absorption in orchard is not always the best solution

Losciale, Pasquale (2008) Light energy management in peach: utilization, photoprotection , photodamage and recovery. Maximizing light absorption in orchard is not always the best solution, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Colture arboree ed agrosistemi forestali ornamentali e paesaggistici, 20 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/724.
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The relation between the intercepted light and orchard productivity was considered linear, although this dependence seems to be more subordinate to planting system rather than light intensity. At whole plant level not always the increase of irradiance determines productivity improvement. One of the reasons can be the plant intrinsic un-efficiency in using energy. Generally in full light only the 5 – 10% of the total incoming energy is allocated to net photosynthesis. Therefore preserving or improving this efficiency becomes pivotal for scientist and fruit growers. Even tough a conspicuous energy amount is reflected or transmitted, plants can not avoid to absorb photons in excess. The chlorophyll over-excitation promotes the reactive species production increasing the photoinhibition risks. The dangerous consequences of photoinhibition forced plants to evolve a complex and multilevel machine able to dissipate the energy excess quenching heat (Non Photochemical Quenching), moving electrons (water-water cycle , cyclic transport around PSI, glutathione-ascorbate cycle and photorespiration) and scavenging the generated reactive species. The price plants must pay for this equipment is the use of CO2 and reducing power with a consequent decrease of the photosynthetic efficiency, both because some photons are not used for carboxylation and an effective CO2 and reducing power loss occurs. Net photosynthesis increases with light until the saturation point, additional PPFD doesn’t improve carboxylation but it rises the efficiency of the alternative pathways in energy dissipation but also ROS production and photoinhibition risks. The wide photo-protective apparatus, although is not able to cope with the excessive incoming energy, therefore photodamage occurs. Each event increasing the photon pressure and/or decreasing the efficiency of the described photo-protective mechanisms (i.e. thermal stress, water and nutritional deficiency) can emphasize the photoinhibition. Likely in nature a small amount of not damaged photosystems is found because of the effective, efficient and energy consuming recovery system. Since the damaged PSII is quickly repaired with energy expense, it would be interesting to investigate how much PSII recovery costs to plant productivity. This PhD. dissertation purposes to improve the knowledge about the several strategies accomplished for managing the incoming energy and the light excess implication on photo-damage in peach. The thesis is organized in three scientific units. In the first section a new rapid, non-intrusive, whole tissue and universal technique for functional PSII determination was implemented and validated on different kinds of plants as C3 and C4 species, woody and herbaceous plants, wild type and Chlorophyll b-less mutant and monocot and dicot plants. In the second unit, using a “singular” experimental orchard named “Asymmetric orchard”, the relation between light environment and photosynthetic performance, water use and photoinhibition was investigated in peach at whole plant level, furthermore the effect of photon pressure variation on energy management was considered on single leaf. In the third section the quenching analysis method suggested by Kornyeyev and Hendrickson (2007) was validate on peach. Afterwards it was applied in the field where the influence of moderate light and water reduction on peach photosynthetic performances, water requirements, energy management and photoinhibition was studied. Using solar energy as fuel for life plant is intrinsically suicidal since the high constant photodamage risk. This dissertation would try to highlight the complex relation existing between plant, in particular peach, and light analysing the principal strategies plants developed to manage the incoming light for deriving the maximal benefits as possible minimizing the risks. In the first instance the new method proposed for functional PSII determination based on P700 redox kinetics seems to be a valid, non intrusive, universal and field-applicable technique, even because it is able to measure in deep the whole leaf tissue rather than the first leaf layers as fluorescence. Fluorescence Fv/Fm parameter gives a good estimate of functional PSII but only when data obtained by ad-axial and ab-axial leaf surface are averaged. In addition to this method the energy quenching analysis proposed by Kornyeyev and Hendrickson (2007), combined with the photosynthesis model proposed by von Caemmerer (2000) is a forceful tool to analyse and study, even in the field, the relation between plant and environmental factors such as water, temperature but first of all light. “Asymmetric” training system is a good way to study light energy, photosynthetic performance and water use relations in the field. At whole plant level net carboxylation increases with PPFD reaching a saturating point. Light excess rather than improve photosynthesis may emphasize water and thermal stress leading to stomatal limitation. Furthermore too much light does not promote net carboxylation improvement but PSII damage, in fact in the most light exposed plants about 50-60% of the total PSII is inactivated. At single leaf level, net carboxylation increases till saturation point (1000 – 1200 μmolm-2s-1) and light excess is dissipated by non photochemical quenching and non net carboxylative transports. The latter follows a quite similar pattern of Pn/PPFD curve reaching the saturation point at almost the same photon flux density. At middle-low irradiance NPQ seems to be lumen pH limited because the incoming photon pressure is not enough to generate the optimum lumen pH for violaxanthin de-epoxidase (VDE) full activation. Peach leaves try to cope with the light excess increasing the non net carboxylative transports. While PPFD rises the xanthophyll cycle is more and more activated and the rate of non net carboxylative transports is reduced. Some of these alternative transports, such as the water-water cycle, the cyclic transport around the PSI and the glutathione-ascorbate cycle are able to generate additional H+ in lumen in order to support the VDE activation when light can be limiting. Moreover the alternative transports seems to be involved as an important dissipative way when high temperature and sub-optimal conductance emphasize the photoinhibition risks. In peach, a moderate water and light reduction does not determine net carboxylation decrease but, diminishing the incoming light and the environmental evapo-transpiration request, stomatal conductance decreases, improving water use efficiency. Therefore lowering light intensity till not limiting levels, water could be saved not compromising net photosynthesis. The quenching analysis is able to partition absorbed energy in the several utilization, photoprotection and photo-oxidation pathways. When recovery is permitted only few PSII remained un-repaired, although more net PSII damage is recorded in plants placed in full light. Even in this experiment, in over saturating light the main dissipation pathway is the non photochemical quenching; at middle-low irradiance it seems to be pH limited and other transports, such as photorespiration and alternative transports, are used to support photoprotection and to contribute for creating the optimal trans-thylakoidal ΔpH for violaxanthin de-epoxidase. These alternative pathways become the main quenching mechanisms at very low light environment. Another aspect pointed out by this study is the role of NPQ as dissipative pathway when conductance becomes severely limiting. The evidence that in nature a small amount of damaged PSII is seen indicates the presence of an effective and efficient recovery mechanism that masks the real photodamage occurring during the day. At single leaf level, when repair is not allowed leaves in full light are two fold more photoinhibited than the shaded ones. Therefore light in excess of the photosynthetic optima does not promote net carboxylation but increases water loss and PSII damage. The more is photoinhibition the more must be the photosystems to be repaired and consequently the energy and dry matter to allocate in this essential activity. Since above the saturation point net photosynthesis is constant while photoinhibition increases it would be interesting to investigate how photodamage costs in terms of tree productivity. An other aspect of pivotal importance to be further widened is the combined influence of light and other environmental parameters, like water status, temperature and nutrition on peach light, water and phtosyntate management.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Losciale, Pasquale
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
photoinhibition photosynthesis photoprotection quenching analisis light interception
Data di discussione
29 Aprile 2008

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