Mechanisms of drought-induced dissipation of excitation energy in sun- and shade-adapted drought-tolerant mosses studied by fluorescence yield change and global and target analysis of fluorescence decay kinetics

Hisanori Yamakawa, Ivo H. M. van Stokkum, Ulrich Heber, Shigeru Itoh*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Some mosses stay green and survive long even under desiccation. Dissipation mechanisms of excess excitation energy were studied in two drought-tolerant moss species adapted to contrasting niches: shade-adapted Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus and sun-adapted Rhytidium rugosum in the same family. (1) Under wet conditions, a light-induced nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ) mechanism decreased the yield of photosystem II (PSII) fluorescence in both species. The NPQ extent saturated at a lower illumination intensity in R. squarrosus, suggesting a larger PSII antenna size. (2) Desiccation reduced the fluorescence intensities giving significantly lower F 0 levels and shortened the overall fluorescence lifetimes in both R. squarrosus and R. rugosum, at room temperature. (3) At 77 K, desiccation strongly reduced the PSII fluorescence intensity. This reduction was smaller in R. squarrosus than in R. rugosum. (4) Global and target analysis indicated two different mechanisms of energy dissipation in PSII under desiccation: the energy dissipation to a desiccation-formed strong fluorescence quencher in the PSII core in sun-adapted R. rugosum (type-A quenching) and (5) the moderate energy dissipation in the light-harvesting complex/PSII in shade-adapted R. squarrosus (type-B quenching). The two mechanisms are consistent with the different ecological niches of the two mosses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-298
Number of pages14
JournalPhotosynthesis Research
Issue number1-3
Early online date18 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018


  • Chlorophyll fluorescence
  • Drought tolerance
  • Fluorescence lifetime
  • Global analysis
  • Moss photosynthesis
  • Photodamage

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