Journal Article

Effect of cold acclimation on the photosynthetic performance of two ecotypes of <i>Colobanthus quitensis</i> (Kunth) Bartl.

León A. Bravo, Felipe A. Saavedra-Mella, Felipe Vera, Alexi Guerra, Lohengrin A. Cavieres, Alexander G. Ivanov, Norman P. A. Huner and Luis J. Corcuera

in Journal of Experimental Botany

Published on behalf of Society for Experimental Biology

Volume 58, issue 13, pages 3581-3590
Published in print October 2007 | ISSN: 0022-0957
Published online October 2007 | e-ISSN: 1460-2431 | DOI:

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The effects of cold acclimation of two ecotypes (Antarctic and Andes) of Colobanthus quitensis (Kunth) Bartl. Caryophyllaceae on their photosynthetic characteristics and performance under high light (HL) were compared. Non-acclimated plants of the Antarctic ecotype exhibited a higher (34%) maximal rate of photosynthesis than the Andes ecotype. In cold-acclimated plants the light compensation point was increased. Dark respiration was significantly increased during the exposure to 4 °C in both ecotypes. Cold-acclimated Antarctic plants showed higher ΦPSII and qP compared with the Andes ecotype. In addition, the Antarctic ecotype exhibited higher heat dissipation (NPQ), especially in the cold-acclimated state, which was mainly associated with the fast relaxing component of non-photochemical quenching (NPQF). By contrast, the Andes ecotype exhibited a lower NPQF and a significant increase in the slowly relaxing component (NPQs) at low temperature and HL, indicating higher sensitivity to low temperature-induced photoinhibition. Although the xanthophyll cycle was fully operational in both ecotypes, cold-acclimated Antarctic plants exposed to HL exhibited higher epoxidation state of the xanthophyll cycle pigments (EPS) compared with the cold-acclimated Andes ecotype. Thus, the photosynthetic apparatus of the Antarctic ecotype operates more efficiently than that of the Andes one, under a combination of low temperature and HL. The ecotype differences are discussed in relation to the different climatic conditions of the two Colobanthus.

Keywords: Antarctic plants; heat dissipation; low temperature; non-photochemical quenching; photoinhibition; photosynthesis

Journal Article.  5544 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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