The photosynthetic apparatus of the CAM plant Tillandsia flabellate and its response to water deficit

Chen Hu, Vincenzo Mascoli, Eduard Elias, Roberta Croce*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


CAM plants are superior to C3 plants in drought resistance because of their peculiar photosynthesis pathway and morphological features. While those aspects have been studied for decades, little is known about the photosynthetic machinery of CAM plants. Here, we used a combination of biochemical and biophysical methods to study the photosynthetic apparatus of Tillandsia flabellate, an obligatory CAM plant. Most of the Photosystems super- and sub-complexes have properties very similar to those of Arabidopsis, with the main difference that in Tillandsia PSI-LHCI complexes bind extra LHCI. Functional measurements show that the PSI/PSII ratio is rather low compared to other plants and that the antenna size of both PSI and PSII is small. Upon 30-day water deficiency, the composition of the photosystems does not change significantly, PSII efficiency remains high and no Photosystem II photoinhibition was detected despite a reduction of non-photochemical quenching (NPQ).

Original languageEnglish
Article number153945
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Plant Physiology
Early online date13 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was supported by the Dutch Organization for Scientific Research via a TOP grant to RC.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s)


  • CAM
  • Photosynthetic light reactions
  • Photosystems
  • Thylakoid
  • Tillandsia


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