Sustained xanthophyll pigments-related photoprotective NPQ is involved in photoinhibition in the haptophyte Tisochrysis lutea

Type Article
Date 2023-09
Language English
Author(s) Lacour ThomasORCID1, Robert Elise2, Lavaud Johann3
Affiliation(s) 1 : Ifremer, PHYTOX, PHYSALG, 44000, Nantes, France
2 : Ifremer, PHYTOX, GENALG, 44000, Nantes, France
3 : UMR 6539 LEMAR-Laboratory of Environmental Marine Sciences, CNRS/Univ Brest/Ifremer/IRD, IUEM-Institut Européen de la Mer, Technopôle Brest-Iroise, Rue Dumont d’Urville, 29280, Plouzané, France
Source Scientific Reports (2045-2322) (Springer Science and Business Media LLC), 2023-09 , Vol. 13 , N. 1 , P. 14694 (14p.)
DOI 10.1038/s41598-023-40298-z

Dynamic xanthophyll cycle (XC) related non-photochemical quenching (NPQd, also called qE) is present in most phototrophs. It allows dissipating excess light energy under adverse growing conditions. Generally, NPQd rapidly reverses for photosynthesis to resume when light intensity decreases back toward optimal intensity. Under certain environmental conditions and/or in some species, NPQ can be strongly sustained (NPQs showing hours-to-days relaxation kinetics). Tisochrysis lutea is a South Pacific haptophyte phytoplankton with a strong potential for aquaculture and biotechnology applications. It was previously reported to show a surprisingly low NPQd capacity while synthesizing large amounts of diatoxanthin (Dt), a pigment involved in the XC. In order to better understand this paradox, we investigated the characteristics of NPQ in T. lutea under various growth conditions of light and nutrient availability (different photoperiods, low and high light, nutrient starvations). We found a strong NPQs, unmeasurable with usual fluorometry protocols. Along with confirming the involvement of Dt in both NPQd and NPQs (by using the dithiothreitol inhibitor), we highlighted a strong relationship between Dt and the maximum quantum yield of photochemistry (Fv/Fm) across growing conditions and during relaxation experiments in darkness. It suggests that changes in Fv/Fm, usually attributed to the ‘photoinhibitory’ quenching (qI), are simultaneously largely impacted by photoprotective NPQ. The overlap of xanthophyll pigments-related photoprotective NPQ with several other mechanisms involved in the cell response (Photosystem II photoinactivation, changes in pigments composition, and detoxification by antioxidants) to energy unbalance is further discussed. Our findings question both how widespread NPQs is in the global ocean, particularly in nutrient starved environments (oligotrophic waters) and situations (post-bloom), and the use of adapted active fluorescence protocols (i.e. with extended NPQ relaxation period prior to measurement).

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