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Characterisation of senescence-induced changes in light harvesting complex II and photosystem I complex of thylakoids of Cucumis sativus cotyledons: age induced association of LHCII with photosystem I.

  • Prakash, Jogadhenu Syama Sundara
  • Baig, Masroor A
  • Bhagwat, Anil S
  • Mohanty, Prasanna
Published Article
Journal of Plant Physiology
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2003
PMID: 12685033


Structure and function of chloroplasts are known to after during senescence. The senescence-induced specific changes in light harvesting antenna of photosystem II (PSII) and photosystem I (PSI) were investigated in Cucumis cotyledons. Purified light harvesting complex II (LHCII) and photosystem I complex were isolated from 6-day non-senescing and 27-day senescing Cucumis cotyledons. The chlorophyll a/b ratio of LHCII obtained from 6-day-old control cotyledons and their absorption, chlorophyll a fluorescence emission and the circular dichroism (CD) spectral properties were comparable to the LHCII preparations from other plants such as pea and spinach. The purified LHCII obtained from 27-day senescing cotyledons had a Chl a/b ratio of 1.25 instead of 1.2 as with 6-day LHCII and also exhibited significant changes in the visible CD spectrum compared to that of 6-day LHCII, indicating some specific alterations in the organisation of chlorophylls of LHCII. The light harvesting antenna of photosystems are likely to be altered due to aging. The room temperature absorption spectrum of LHCII obtained from 27-day senescing cotyledons showed changes in the peak positions. Similarly, comparison of 77K chlorophyll a fluorescence emission characteristics of LHCII preparation from senescing cotyledons with that of control showed a small shift in the peak position and the alteration in the emission profile, which is suggestive of possible changes in energy transfer within LHCII chlorophylls. Further, the salt induced aggregation of LHCII samples was lower, resulting in lower yields of LHCII from 27-day cotyledons than from normal cotyledons. Moreover, the PSI preparations of 6-day cotyledons showed Chl a/b ratios of 5 to 5.5, where as the PSI sample of 27-day cotyledons had a Chl a/b ratio of 2.9 suggesting LHCII association with PSI. The absorption, fluorescence emission and visible CD spectral measurements as well as the polypeptide profiles of 27-day cotyledon-PSI complexes indicated age-induced association of LHCII of PSII with PSI obtained from 27-day cotyledons. We modified our isolation protocols by increasing the duration of detergent Triton X-100 treatment for preparing the PSI and LHCII complexes from 27-day cotyledons. However, the PSI complexes isolated from senescing samples invariably proved to have significantly low Chl a/b ratio suggesting an age induced lateral movement and possible association of LHCII with PSI complexes. The analyses of polypeptide compositions of LHCII and PSI holocomplexes isolated from 6-day control and 27-day senescing cotyledons showed distinctive differences in their profiles. The presence of 26-28 kDa polypeptide in PSI complexes from 27-day cotyledons, but not in 6-day control PSI complexes is in agreement with the notion that senescence induced migration of LHCII to stroma lamellae and its possible association with PSI. We suggest that the migration of LHCII to the stroma lamellae region and its possible association with PSI might cause the destacking and flattening of grana structure during senescence of the chloroplasts. Such structural changes in light harvesting antenna are likely to alter energy transfer between two photosystems. The nature of aging induced migration and association of LHCII with PSI and its existence in other senescing systems need to be estimated in the future.


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