Drought stress effects on photosystem i content and photosystem II thermotolerance analyzed using Chl a fluorescence kinetics in barley varieties differing in their drought tolerance

Abdallah Oukarroum, Gert Schansker, Reto J. Strasser

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153 Citations (Scopus)


Drought stress has multiple effects on the photosynthetic system. Here, we show that a decrease of the relative contribution of the I-P phase, ΔVIP = -V I = (FM -FI)/(F M - Fo), to the fluorescence transient OJIP is observed in 10 drought-stressed barley and 9 chickpea varieties. The extent of the I-P loss in the barley varieties depended on their drought tolerance. The relative loss of the I-P phase seems to be related to a loss of photosystem (PS) I reaction centers as determined by 820-nm transmission measurements. In the second part of this study, the interaction of drought and heat stress in two barley varieties (the drought tolerant variety Ät Baha and the drought sensitive variety Lannaceur) was studied using a new approach. Heat stress was induced by exposing the plant leaves to temperatures of 25-45°C and the inactivation of the O2-evolving complex (OEC) was followed measuring chlorophyll a (Chl a) fluorescence using a protocol consisting of two 5-ms pulses spaced 2.3 ms apart. In active reaction centers, the dark interval is long enough to allow the OEC to recover from the first pulse; whereas in heat-inactivated reaction centers it is not. In the latter category of reaction centers, no further fluorescence rise is induced by the second pulse. Lannaceur, under well-watered conditions, was more heat tolerant than Aït Baha. However, this difference was lost following drought stress. Drought stress considerably increased the thermostability of PS II of both varieties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-199
Number of pages12
JournalPhysiologia Plantarum
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - okt. 2009


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology

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