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Effects of light exposure on the retention of kleptoplastic photosynthetic activity in the sacoglossan mollusc Elysia viridis
Vieira, S.; Calado, R.; Coelho, H.; Serodiô, J. (2009). Effects of light exposure on the retention of kleptoplastic photosynthetic activity in the sacoglossan mollusc Elysia viridis. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 156(5): 1007-1020.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162; e-ISSN 1432-1793, more
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  • Vieira, S.
  • Calado, R.
  • Coelho, H.
  • Serodiô, J.

    The effects of light exposure on the photosynthetic activity of kleptoplasts were studied in the sacoglossan mollusc Elysia viridis. The photosynthetic activity of ingested chloroplasts was assessed in vivo by non-destructively measuring photophysiological parameters using pulse amplitude modulation (PAM) fluorometry. Animals kept under starvation were exposed to two contrasting light conditions, 30 µmol photons m-2 s-1 (low light, LL), and 140 µmol photons m-2 s-1 (high light, HL), and changes in photosynthetic activity were monitored by measuring the maximum quantum yield of photosystem II (PSII), F v/F m, the minimum fluorescence, F o, related to chlorophyll a content, and by measuring rapid light-response curves (RLC) of relative electron transport rate (rETR). RLCs were characterised by the initial slope of the curve, aRLC, related to efficiency of light capture, and the maximum rETR level, rETRm,RLC, determined by the carbon-fixation metabolism. Starvation induced the decrease of all photophysiological parameters. However, the retention of photosynthetic activity (number of days for F v/F m > 0), as well as the rate and the patterns of its decrease over time, varied markedly with light exposure. Under HL conditions, a rapid, exponential decrease was observed for F v/F m, aRLC and rETRm,RLC, F o not showing any consistent trend of variation, and retention times ranged between 6 and 15 days. These results suggested that the retention of chloroplast functionality is limited by photoinactivation of PSII reaction center protein D1. In contrast, under LL conditions, a slower decrease in all parameters was found, with retention times varying from 15 to 57 days. F v/F m, aRLC and rETRm,RLC exhibited a bi-phasic pattern composed by a long phase of slow decrease in values followed by a rapid decline, whilst F o decayed exponentially. These results were interpreted as resulting from lower rates of D1 photoinactivation under low light and from the gradual decrease in carbon provided by photosynthesis due to reduction of functional photosynthetic units.

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