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K+ and Cl- channels/transporters independently fine-tune photosynthesis in plants.

Journal article
Authors Emilija Dukic
Andrei Herdean
Otilia Cheregi
Anurag Sharma
Nziengui Hugues
Dominika Dmitruk
Katalin Solymosi
Mathias Pribil
Cornelia Spetea
Published in Scientific reports
Volume 9
Issue 1
Pages 8639
ISSN 2045-2322
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Pages 8639
Language en
Subject categories Biological Sciences


In variable light environments, plants adjust light use in photosynthetic electron transport and photoprotective dissipation in the thylakoid membrane. In this respect, roles of the K+/H+ antiporter KEA3, the Cl- channel/transporter CLCe and the voltage-dependent Cl- channel VCCN1 have been unraveled in Arabidopsis thaliana. Here we report that they independently adjust photosynthesis on the basis of analyses using single and higher order loss-of-function mutants. In short experiments of photosynthetic response on transition from dark to low light, we reveal a sequential functioning of VCCN1 and CLCe in the activation of photoprotection and of KEA3 in its downregulation to a low steady state while adjusting the electron transport. On transition from low to high light, VCCN1 accelerates the activation of photoprotection, whereas KEA3 slows it down on transition from high to low light. Based on parallel electrochromic band shift measurements, the mechanism behind is that VCCN1 builds up a pH gradient across the thylakoid membrane, whereas KEA3 dissipates this gradient, which affects photoprotection. CLCe regulates photosynthesis by a pH-independent mechanism likely involving Cl- homeostasis. Nevertheless, all genotypes grow well in alternating high and low light. Taken together, the three studied ion channels/transporters function independently in adjusting photosynthesis to the light environment.

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