In vivo temperature dependence of cyclic and pseudocyclic electron transport in barley

Joanne E. Clarke, Giles N. Johnson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The effect of temperature on the rate of electron transfer through photosystems I and II (PSI and PSII) was investigated in leaves of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.). Measurements of PSI and PSII photochemistry were made in 21% O2 and in 2% O2, to limit electron transport to O2 in the Mehler reaction. Measurements were made in the presence of saturating CO2 concentrations to suppress photorespiration. It was observed that the O2 dependency of PSII electron transport is highly temperature dependent. At 10 °C, the quantum yield of PSII (ΦPSII) was insensitive to O2 concentration, indicating that there was no Mehler reaction operating. At high temperatures (> 25 °C) a substantial reduction in ΦPSII was observed when the O2 concentration was reduced. However, under the same conditions, there was no effect of O2 concentration on the ΔpH-dependent process of non-photochemical quenching. The rate of electron transport through PSI was also found to be independent of O2 concentration across the temperature range. We conclude that the Mehler reaction is not important in maintaining a thylakoid proton gradient that is capable of controlling PSII activity, and present evidence that cyclic electron transport around PSI acts to maintain membrane energization at low temperature.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)808-816
    Number of pages8
    Issue number5-6
    Publication statusPublished - 2001


    • ΔpH
    • Cyclic electron transport
    • Hordeum (electron transport)
    • Mehler reaction
    • Non-photochemical quenching


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