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Keywords:

  • chloroplast;
  • early light-induced proteins;
  • gene expression;
  • light stress;
  • photoprotection;
  • PsbS protein;
  • senescence

ABSTRACT

Plant cells exposed to photo-inhibitory conditions respond by accumulation of the early light-induced proteins (Elips) with a potential photoprotective function. Here we studied the expression of Elip in various pea cultivars grown under agricultural or climate-chamber conditions. We demonstrated that the expression of Elip in all cultivars was developmentally regulated and its level decreased during flowering and post-flowering periods. Surprisingly, significant amounts of Elip transcripts, but not proteins, accumulated in senescing leaves already under low light conditions and the exposure to light stress resulted in a 10-times higher induction of Elip transcripts. Furthermore, the expression pattern of Elip transcript and protein significantly differed under field and growth-chamber conditions. First, the expression level of Elip was much higher in field-grown than in chamber-grown cultivars. Second, substantial amounts of Elip transcripts and protein were detected during the night in field-grown plants in contrast to chamber-grown cultivars due to a synergistic effect of light stress occurring during the day and low temperature present during the following night. The expression of the PsbS protein related to Elips and involved in the photoprotection of the photosystem II was relatively constant under all conditions tested.