Mechanism of action of anions on the electron transport chain in thylakoid membranes of higher plants

Pooja Singh-Rawal, Ottó Zsiros, Sudhakar Bharti, Gyozo Garab, Anjana Jajoo

Research output: Article

5 Citations (Scopus)


With an aim to improve our understanding of the mechanisms behind specific anion effects in biological membranes, we have studied the effects of sodium salts of anions of varying valency in thylakoid membranes. Rates of electron transport of PS II and PS I, 77K fluorescence emission and excitation spectra, cyclic electron flow around PS I and circular dichroism (CD) spectra were measured in thylakoid membranes in order to elucidate a general mechanism of action of inorganic anions on photosynthetic electron transport chain. Re-distribution of absorbed excitation energy has been observed as a signature effect of inorganic anions. In the presence of anions, such as nitrite, sulphate and phosphate, distribution of absorbed excitation energy was found to be more in favor of Photosystem I (PS I). The amount of energy distributed towards PS I depended on the valency of the anion. In this paper, we propose for the first time that energy re-distribution and its valence dependence may not be the effect of anions per se. The entry of negative charge (anion) is accompanied by influx of positive charge (protons) to maintain a balance of charge across the thylakoid membranes. As reflected by the CD spectra, the observed energy re-distribution could be a result of structural rearrangements of the protein complexes of PS II caused by changes in the ionic environment of the thylakoid lumen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-202
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - ápr. 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology

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