Very strong UV-A light temporally separates the photoinhibition of photosystem II into light-induced inactivation and repair

Otto Zsiros, Suleyman I. Allakhverdiev, Shoichi Higashi, Masakatsu Watanabe, Yoshitaka Nishiyama, Norio Murata

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    45 Citations (Scopus)


    When organisms that perform oxygenic photosynthesis are exposed to strong visible or UV light, inactivation of photosystem II (PSII) occurs. However, such organisms are able rapidly to repair the photoinactivated PSII. The phenomenon of photoinactivation and repair is known as photoinhibition. Under normal laboratory conditions, the rate of repair is similar to or faster than the rate of photoinactivation, preventing the detailed analysis of photoinactivation and repair as separate processes. We report here that, using strong UV-A light from a laser, we were able to analyze separately the photoinactivation and repair of photosystem II in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. Very strong UV-A light at 364 nm and a photon flux density of 2600 μmol photons m -2 s-1 inactivated the oxygen-evolving machinery and the photochemical reaction center of PSII within 1 or 2 min before the first step in the repair process, namely, the degradation of the D1 protein, occurred. During subsequent incubation of cells in weak visible light, the activity of PSII recovered fully within 30 min and this process depended on protein synthesis. During subsequent incubation of cells in darkness for 60 min, the D1 protein of the photoinactivated PSII was degraded. Further incubation in weak visible light resulted in the rapid restoration of the activity of PSII. These observations suggest that very strong UV-A light is a useful tool for the analysis of the repair of PSII after photoinactivation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)123-129
    Number of pages7
    JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2006


    • D1 protein
    • Photoinhibition
    • Photosystem II
    • Synechocystis
    • UV-A light

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biophysics
    • Biochemistry
    • Cell Biology


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