Maize (Zea mays L.) inbred lines of contrasting chilling sensitivity (three tolerant, three sensitive lines) were acclimated to 280 μmol photons m -2 s-1 white light at a 17°C sub-optimal temperature. They showed no symptoms of photoinhibition, despite slight changes in photosystem II (PSII) fluorescence and thermoluminescence properties in two tolerant lines. A luminescence "afterglow" emission [Bertsch and Azzi (1965) Biochim Biophys Acta 94:15-26], inducible by a far-red (FR) illumination of unfrozen leaf discs, was detected either as a bounce in decay kinetics at constant temperatures or as a sharp thermoluminescence afterglow band at about 45°C, in dark-adapted leaves. This band reflects the induction by warming of an electron pathway from stromal reductants to plastoquinones and to the Q B secondary acceptor of PSII, resulting in a luminescence-emitting charge recombination in the fraction of centres that were initially in the S2/3QB non-luminescent state. A 5-h exposure of plants to growth chamber light shifted this luminescence emission towards shorter times and lower temperatures for several hours in the three chilling-tolerant lines. This downshift was not observed, or only transiently, in the three sensitive lines. In darkness, the downshifted afterglow band relaxed within hours to resume its dark-adapted location, similar for all maize lines. A faster dark re-reduction of P700+ oxidized by FR light (monitored by 820-nm absorbance) and an increase of photochemical energy storage under FR excitation (determined by photoacoustic spectroscopy) confirmed that a cyclic pathway induced by white actinic light remained activated for several hours in the tolerant maize lines.
- Photosystem I-cyclic electron transfer
- Photosystem II
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Plant Science