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University of Patras (2015)

Responses of the photosynthetic apparatus under short and long water stress periods

Κούτρα, Ελένη

Titre : Responses of the photosynthetic apparatus under short and long water stress periods

Μεταβολές στη λειτουργία της φωτοσυνθετικής συσκευής σε σχέση με την ταχύτητα εμφάνισης της υδατικής καταπόνησης

Auteur : Κούτρα, Ελένη

Etablissement de soutenance : University of Patras

Grade : Doctorat 2015

Water stress is one of the most important environmental factors limiting plant growth and yield in arid and semi-arid ecosystems, including those with Mediterranean climate. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of water stress on the photosynthetic capacity of PSII and on the light reactions of photosynthesis of typical Mediterranean species. Water stress experiments were conducted both under laboratory conditions, through dehydration of leaf-disks within hours and under semi-natural conditions by withholding water for about two weeks. Drought period was followed by six days of re-watering, in order to assess the recovery of the photosynthetic apparatus. Analysis of the polyphasic OJIP fluorescence transient through JIP-test, revealed direct limitations in electron transport, as expressed by the parameters ψΕο, φΕο, δRo and φRo. Furthermore, a negative correlation was found between RWC and the pool of the RCs of PSI, the pool of electron end-acceptors, and the photosynthetic efficiency, as expressed by the parameters PIABS & PItotal. The maximum quantum yield of primary photochemistry φPο (=Fv/Fm) was affected only under very low RWC values during the laboratory experiments. On the other hand, a reduction was found during the second week of drought stress treatment, along with an increased conversion rate of absorbed light into thermal energy. Under semi-natural conditions, water stress also caused a shift in the specific energy flows per RC of PSII, caused possibly by inactivation of RCs. Moreover, there was an increase in fluorescence intensity at 300 microseconds (K-band), a phenomenon associated with inhibition of the oxygen evolving complex. These alterations were not observed to the same extent in the laboratory experiments, so they can be attributed to the gradual onset of drought and the combined effect of dehydration, high temperature and high light intensities under natural conditions. Within one day after rehydration, all the parameters of the JIP-test began to recover. However, differences in the recovery rate were observed between different species. In conclusion, our findings indicate down-regulation of light reactions of photosynthesis under water stress. This phenomenon was quickly reversed in our experiments. Therefore, it could be regarded as an adaptive response, which maintains the functionality of the photosynthetic apparatus of the Mediterranean species studied, even under severe water deficit.


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