Ultrafast energy quenching mechanism of LHCSR3-dependent photoprotection in Chlamydomonas


Nat Commun. 2024 May 24;15(1):4437. doi: 10.1038/s41467-024-48789-x.


Photosynthetic organisms have evolved an essential energy-dependent quenching (qE) mechanism to avoid any lethal damages caused by high light. While the triggering mechanism of qE has been well addressed, candidates for quenchers are often debated. This lack of understanding is because of the tremendous difficulty in measuring intact cells using transient absorption techniques. Here, we have conducted femtosecond pump-probe measurements to characterize this photophysical reaction using micro-sized cell fractions of the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii that retain physiological qE function. Combined with kinetic modeling, we have demonstrated the presence of an ultrafast excitation energy transfer (EET) pathway from Chlorophyll a (Chl a) Qy to a carotenoid (car) S1 state, therefore proposing that this carotenoid, likely lutein1, is the quencher. This work has provided an easy-to-prepare qE active thylakoid membrane system for advanced spectroscopic studies and demonstrated that the energy dissipation pathway of qE is evolutionarily conserved from green algae to land plants.

PMID:38789432 | DOI:10.1038/s41467-024-48789-x