Energization and ultrastructural pattern of thylakoids formed under periodic illumination followed by continuous light

Ágnes Faludi-Dániel, L. A. Mustardy, I. Vass, J. G. Kiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Bean leaves grown under periodic illumination (56 cycles of 2 min light and 98 min darkness) were subsequently exposed to continuous illumination, and in connection with granum formation and accumulation of the light-harvesting pigment-protein complex thermoluminescence and light-induced shrinkage of thylakoid membranes were studied. Juvenile chloroplasts with large double sheets of thylakoids obtained under periodic light exhibited low temperature spectra of polarized fluorescence yielding fluorescence polarization (FP) values < 1 at 695 nm, characteristic for pheophytin emission. In the course of maturation under continuous light when normal grana appeared and the chlorophyll a/b light-harvesting photosystem II complex was incorporated into the membrane, at 695 nm the relative intensity of fluorescence dropped and FP changed to a value of > 1, suggesting an overlap between the emission of pheophytin and that of the chlorophyll a/b light-harvesting photosystem II complex. Thermoluminescence glow curves recorded with juvenile thylakoids displayed a relatively high proportion of emission at low temperatures (around -10°C) while with mature chloroplasts, more thermoluminescence originated from energetically deeper traps (discharged around 28°C). This means that during thylakoid development the capacity of the membrane to stabilize the separated charges increases, which might be favourable for the ultimate conservation of energy. The more extensive energization of mature thylakoids was also indicated by a light-induced decrease in the thickness of the membranes upon illumination; a change which could not be detected in juvenile thylakoids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-238
Number of pages10
JournalPhotosynthesis research
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1986


  • energy conservation
  • granum formation
  • light harvesting pigment-protein complex
  • thermoluminescence membrane shrinkage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology

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