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Competing demands for a complex system : photosystem II repair, photoprotection and quantum yield

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dc.contributor.author Veerman, John
dc.date.accessioned 2012-04-04T17:01:41Z
dc.date.available 2012-04-04T17:01:41Z
dc.date.issued 2012-04-04
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10464/3968
dc.description.abstract Photosynthesis in general is a key biological process on Earth and Photo system II (PSII) is an important component of this process. PSII is the only enzyme capable of oxidizing water and is largely responsible for the primordial build-up and present maintenance of the oxygen in the atmosphere. This thesis endeavoured to understand the link between structure and function in PSII with special focus on primary photochemistry, repair/photodamage and spectral characteristics. The deletion of the PsbU subunit ofPSII in cyanobacteria caused a decoupling of the Phycobilisomes (PBS) from PSII, likely as a result of increased rates of PSII photodamage with the PBS decoupling acting as a measure to protect PSII from further damage. Isolated fractions of spinach thylakoid membranes were utilized to characterize the heterogeneity present in the various compartments of the thylakoid membrane. It was found that the pooled PSIILHCII pigment populations were connected in the grana stack and there was also a progressive decrease in the reaction rates of primary photochemistry and antennae size of PSII as the sample origin moved from grana to stroma. The results were consistent with PSII complexes becoming damaged in the grana and being sent to the stroma for repair. The dramatic quenching of variable fluorescence and overall fluorescent yield of PSII in desiccated lichens was also studied in order to investigate the mechanism by which the quenching operated. It was determined that the source of the quenching was a novel long wavelength emitting external quencher. Point mutations to amino acids acting as ligands to chromophores of interest in PSII were utilized in cyanobacteria to determine the role of specific chromophores in energy transfer and primary photochemistry. These results indicated that the Hl14 ligated chlorophyll acts as the 'trap' chlorophyll in CP47 at low temperature and that the Q130E mutation imparts considerable changes to PSII electron transfer kinetics, essentially protecting the complex via increased non-radiative charge Photosynthesis in general is a key biological process on Earth and Photo system II (PSII) is an important component of this process. PSII is the only enzyme capable of oxidizing water and is largely responsible for the primordial build-up and present maintenance of the oxygen in the atmosphere. This thesis endeavoured to understand the link between structure and function in PSII with special focus on primary photochemistry, repair/photodamage and spectral characteristics. The deletion of the PsbU subunit ofPSII in cyanobacteria caused a decoupling of the Phycobilisomes (PBS) from PSII, likely as a result of increased rates of PSII photodamage with the PBS decoupling acting as a measure to protect PSII from further damage. Isolated fractions of spinach thylakoid membranes were utilized to characterize the heterogeneity present in the various compartments of the thylakoid membrane. It was found that the pooled PSIILHCII pigment populations were connected in the grana stack and there was also a progressive decrease in the reaction rates of primary photochemistry and antennae size of PSII as the sample origin moved from grana to stroma. The results were consistent with PSII complexes becoming damaged in the grana and being sent to the stroma for repair. The dramatic quenching of variable fluorescence and overall fluorescent yield of PSII in desiccated lichens was also studied in order to investigate the mechanism by which the quenching operated. It was determined that the source of the quenching was a novel long wavelength emitting external quencher. Point mutations to amino acids acting as ligands to chromophores of interest in PSII were utilized in cyanobacteria to determine the role of specific chromophores in energy transfer and primary photochemistry. These results indicated that the Hl14 ligated chlorophyll acts as the 'trap' chlorophyll in CP47 at low temperature and that the Q130E mutation imparts considerable changes to PSII electron transfer kinetics, essentially protecting the complex via increased non-radiative charge.
dc.subject Photosynthesis en_US
dc.subject Plants en_US
dc.subject Photochemistry en_US
dc.title Competing demands for a complex system : photosystem II repair, photoprotection and quantum yield en_US
dc.degree.name Ph.D. Biological Sciences en_US
dc.degree.level Doctoral en_US
dc.contributor.department Department of Biological Sciences en_US
dc.degree.discipline Faculty of Mathematics and Science en_US


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