Development of fluorescence quenching in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii upon prolonged illumination at 77 K

Lucyna M. Wlodarczyk, Joris J. Snellenburg, Jan P. Dekker, Ivo H.M. Stokkum*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Low-temperature fluorescence measurements are frequently used in photosynthesis research to assess photosynthetic processes. Upon illumination of photosystem II (PSII) frozen to 77 K, fluorescence quenching is observed. In this work, we studied the light-induced quenching in intact cells of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii at 77 K using time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy with a streak camera setup. In agreement with previous studies, global analysis of the data shows that prolonged illumination of the sample affects the nanosecond decay component of the PSII emission. Using target analysis, we resolved the quenching on the PSII-684 compartment which describes bulk chlorophyll molecules of the PSII core antenna. Further, we quantified the quenching rate constant and observed that as the illumination proceeds the accumulation of the quencher leads to a speed up of the fluorescence decay of the PSII-684 compartment as the decay rate constant increases from about 3 to 4 ns− 1. The quenching on PSII-684 leads to indirect quenching of the compartments PSII-690 and PSII-695 which represent the red chlorophyll of the PSII core. These results explain past and current observations of light-induced quenching in 77 K steady-state and time-resolved fluorescence spectra.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)503-513
Number of pages11
JournalPhotosynthesis Research
Issue number3
Early online date13 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2018


  • Photosystem II
  • State transitions
  • Target analysis
  • Time-resolved fluorescence


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