NPQ<inf>(T)</inf>: a chlorophyll fluorescence parameter for rapid estimation and imaging of non-photochemical quenching of excitons in photosystem-II-associated antenna complexes

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Journal Article
Plant Cell and Environment, 2017, 40 (8), pp. 1243 - 1255
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© 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd In photosynthesis, light energy is absorbed by light-harvesting complexes and used to drive photochemistry. However, a fraction of absorbed light is lost to non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) that reflects several important photosynthetic processes to dissipate excess energy. Currently, estimates of NPQ and its individual components (qE, qI, qZ and qT) are measured from pulse-amplitude-modulation (PAM) measurements of chlorophyll fluorescence yield and require measurements of the maximal yield of fluorescence in fully dark-adapted material (Fm), when NPQ is assumed to be negligible. Unfortunately, this approach requires extensive dark acclimation, often precluding widespread or high-throughput use, particularly under field conditions or in imaging applications, while introducing artefacts when Fm is measured in the presence of residual photodamaged centres. To address these limitations, we derived and characterized a new set of parameters, NPQ(T), and its components that can be (1) measured in a few seconds, allowing for high-throughput and field applications; (2) does not require full relaxation of quenching processes and thus can be applied to photoinhibited materials; (3) can distinguish between NPQ and chloroplast movements; and (4) can be used to image NPQ in plants with large leaf movements. We discuss the applications benefits and caveats of both approaches.
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