Biochimica et biophysica acta

Moderate heat stress induces state transitions in Arabidopsis thaliana.

PMID 21640068


The effect of temperature on the photosynthetic machinery is crucial for the fundamental understanding of plant physiology and the bioengineering of heat-tolerant varieties. In our study, Arabidopsis thaliana was exposed to mild (40°C), short-term heat stress in the dark to evaluate the heat-triggered phosphorylation and migration of light harvesting complex (LHC) II in both wild-type (wt) and mutant lacking STN7 kinase. The 77K emission spectra revealed an increase in PSI relative to PSII emission similar to increases observed in light-induced state I to state II transitions in wt but not in stn7 mutant. Immunoblotting results indicated that the major LHCII was phosphorylated at threonine sites under heat stress in wt plants but not in the mutant. These results support the proposition that mild heat stress triggers state transitions in the dark similar to light-induced state transitions, which involve phosphorylation of LHCII by STN7 kinase. Pre-treatment of Arabidopsis leaves with inhibitor DBMIB, altered the extent of LHCII phosphorylation and PSI fluorescence emission suggests that activation of STN7 kinase may be dependent on Cyt b(6)/f under elevated temperatures in dark. Furthermore, fast Chl a transient of temperature-exposed leaves of wt showed a decrease in the F(v)/F(m) ratio due to both an increase in F(o) and a decrease in F(m). In summary, our findings indicate that a mild heat treatment (40°C) induces state transitions in the dark resulting in the migration of phosphorylated LHCII from the grana to the stroma region.

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