Age-dependent changes in the functions and compositions of photosynthetic complexes in the thylakoid membranes of Arabidopsis thaliana

Krishna Nath, Bong Kwan Phee, Suyeong Jeong, Sun Yi Lee, Yoshio Tateno, Suleyman I. Allakhverdiev, Choon Hwan Lee, Hong Gil Nam

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    34 Citations (Scopus)


    Photosynthetic complexes in the thylakoid membrane of plant leaves primarily function as energy-harvesting machinery during the growth period. However, leaves undergo developmental and functional transitions along aging and, at the senescence stage, these complexes become major sources for nutrients to be remobilized to other organs such as developing seeds. Here, we investigated age-dependent changes in the functions and compositions of photosynthetic complexes during natural leaf senescence in Arabidopsis thaliana. We found that Chl a/b ratios decreased during the natural leaf senescence along with decrease of the total chlorophyll content. The photosynthetic parameters measured by the chlorophyll fluorescence, photochemical efficiency (F v/F m) of photosystem II, non-photochemical quenching, and the electron transfer rate, showed a differential decline in the senescing part of the leaves. The CO2 assimilation rate and the activity of PSI activity measured from whole senescing leaves remained relatively intact until 28 days of leaf age but declined sharply thereafter. Examination of the behaviors of the individual components in the photosynthetic complex showed that the components on the whole are decreased, but again showed differential decline during leaf senescence. Notably, D1, a PSII reaction center protein, was almost not present but PsaA/B, a PSI reaction center protein is still remained at the senescence stage. Taken together, our results indicate that the compositions and structures of the photosynthetic complexes are differentially utilized at different stages of leaf, but the most dramatic change was observed at the senescence stage, possibly to comply with the physiological states of the senescence process.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)547-556
    Number of pages10
    JournalPhotosynthesis research
    Issue number1-3
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


    • Arabidopsis thaliana
    • Chl contents and Chl a/b ratio
    • Developmental stage and senescence
    • Nutrient mobilization
    • Photosynthetic complexes and their components
    • Photosynthetic performance

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biochemistry
    • Plant Science
    • Cell Biology


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