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PLANT CELL 18 (2): 457-464

Copyright © 2006 by the American Society of Plant Physiologists.

Mobilization of Photosystem II Induced by Intense Red Light in the Cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp PCC7942

Mary Sarcina, Nikolaos Bouzovitis, and Conrad W. Mullineaux1

School of Biological Sciences, Queen Mary, University of London, London E1 4NS, United Kingdom

1 To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail c.mullineaux{at}qmul.ac.uk; fax 44-20-8983-0973.

Abstract: We use confocal fluorescence microscopy and fluorescence recovery after photobleaching to show that a specific light signal controls the diffusion of a protein complex in thylakoid membranes of the cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp PCC7942 in vivo. In low light, photosystem II appears completely immobile in the membrane. However, exposure to intense red light triggers rapid diffusion of up to ~50% of photosystem II reaction centers. Particularly intense or prolonged red light exposure also leads to the redistribution of photosystem II to specific zones within the thylakoid membranes. The mobilization does not result from photodamage but is triggered by a specific red light signal. We show that mobilization of photosystem II is required for the rapid initiation of recovery from photoinhibition. Thus, intense red light triggers a switch from a static to a dynamic configuration of thylakoid membrane protein complexes, and this facilitates the rapid turnover and repair of the complexes. The localized concentrations of photosystem II seen after red light treatment may correspond to specific zones where the repair cycle is active.


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