LHCSR1-dependent fluorescence quenching is mediated by excitation energy transfer from LHCll to photosystem l in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
Kotaro Kosuge, Ryutaro Tokutsu, Eunchul Kim, Seiji Akimoto, Makio Yokono, Yoshifumi Ueno and Jun Minagawa
Photosynthetic organisms are frequently exposed to light intensities that surpass the photosynthetic electron transport capacity. Under these conditions, the excess absorbed energy can be transferred from excited chlorophyll in the triplet state (3Chl*) to molecular O2, which leads to the production of harmful reactive oxygen species. To avoid this photooxidative stress, photosynthetic organisms must respond to excess light. In the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, the fastest response to high light is nonphotochemical quenching, a process that allows safe dissipation of the excess energy as heat. The two proteins, UV-inducible LHCSR1 and blue light-inducible LHCSR3, appear to be responsible for this function. While the LHCSR3 protein has been intensively studied, the role of LHCSR1 has been only partially elucidated. To investigate the molecular functions of LHCSR1 in C. reinhardtii, we performed biochemical and spectroscopic experiments and found that the protein mediates excitation energy transfer from light-harvesting complexes for Photosystem II (LHCII) to Photosystem I (PSI), rather than Photosystem II, at a low pH. This altered excitation transfer allows remarkable fluorescence quenching under high light. Our findings suggest that there is a PSI-dependent photoprotection mechanism that is facilitated by LHCSR1.