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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Arabidopsis thaliana plants lacking the PSI-D subunit of photosystem I suffer severe photoinhibition, have unstable photosystem I complexes, and altered redox homeostasis in the chloroplast stroma.

The PSI-D subunit of photosystem I is a hydrophilic subunit of about 18 kDa, which is exposed to the stroma and has an important function in the docking of ferredoxin to photosystem I. We have used an antisense approach to obtain Arabidopsis thaliana plants with only 5-60% of PSI-D. No plants were recovered completely lacking PSI-D, suggesting that PSI-D is essential for a functional PSI in plants. Plants with reduced amounts of PSI-D showed a similar decrease in all other subunits of PSI including the light harvesting complex, suggesting that in the absence of PSI-D, PSI cannot be properly assembled and becomes degraded. Plants with reduced amounts of PSI-D became light-stressed even in low light although they exhibited high non-photochemical quenching ( NPQ). The high NPQ was generated by upregulating the level of violaxanthin de-epoxidase and PsbS, which are both essential components of NPQ. Interestingly, the lack of PSI-D affected the redox state of thioredoxin. During the normal light cycle thioredoxin became increasingly oxidized, which was observed as decreasing malate dehydrogenase activity over a 4-h light period. This result shows that photosynthesis was close to normal the first 15 min, but after 2-4 h photoinhibition dominated as the stroma progressively became less reduced. The change in the thiol disulfide redox state might be fatal for the PSI-D-less plants, because reduction of thioredoxin is one of the main switches for the initiation of CO2 assimilation and photoprotection upon light exposure.[1]


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