Effect of pH on non-photochemical quenching in spinach photsystem 2 particles as measured by picosecond fluorescence decay kinetics
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Single photon timing was used to study picosecond chlorophyll a fluorescence decay kinetics of pH induced non-photochemical quenching in spinach photosystem 2 particles. The characteristics of this quenching are a decrease in chlorophyll a fluorescence yield as well as a decrease in photochemistry at low pH. Picosecond kinetics of room temperature fluorescence temporally resolve the individual components of the steady state fluorescence yield into components that are related to primary energy conversion processes in photosystem 2. Four components were resolved for dark adapted (Fo), light saturated (Fm), and chemically reduced (Nadithionite) photosystem 2 reaction centres. The fastest and slowest components, indicative of energy transfer to and energy capture by the photosystem 2 reaction centre and uncoupled ("dead") chlorophyll, respectively, were not affected by changing pH from 6.5 to 4.0. The two intermediate components, indicative of electron transfer processes within the reaction centre of photosystem 2, were affected by the pH change. Results indicate that the decrease in the steady state fluorescence yield at low pH was primarily due to the decrease in lifetime and amplitude of the slower of the intermediate components. These results imply that the decrease in steady state fluorescence yield at low pH is not due to changes in energy transfer to and energy capture by the photosystem 2 reaction centre, but is related to changes in charge stabilization and charge recombination in the photosystem 2 reaction centre.