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Low-light-induced Violaxanthin De-epoxidation in Shortly Preheated Leaves: Uncoupling from ΔpH-dependent Nonphotochemical Quenching


Corresponding author email: (Petr Ilík)


Plants protect themselves against excessive light by the induction of ΔpH-dependent nonphotochemical quenching (qE) that is associated with de-epoxidation of violaxanthin (V) to zeaxanthin (Z) in thylakoid membranes. In this work, we report that low light (12 μmol photons m−2 s−1) is sufficient for a marked stimulation of the V to Z conversion in shortly preheated wheat leaves (5 min, 40°C), but without a substantial increase in qE. Re-irradiation of these leaves with high light led to a rapid induction of nonphotochemical quenching, implying a potential photoprotective role of low-light-induced Z in preheated leaves. On the contrary to low light conditions, preheated leaves exposed to high light behaved similar to nonheated leaves with respect to the V to Z conversion and qE induction. The obtained results indicate that low-light-induced lumen acidification in preheated leaves is high enough to activate V de-epoxidation, but not sufficiently high to induce the formation of quenching centers.