The PsbS protein is recognised in higher plants as an important component in dissipating excess light energy via its regulation of non-photochemical quenching. We investigated photosynthetic responses in the arabidopsis npq4 mutant, which lacks PsbS, and in a mutant over-expressing PsbS (oePsbS). Growth under low light led to npq4 and wild-type plants being visibly indistinguishable, but induced a phenotype in oePsbS plants, which were smaller and had shorter flowering spikes. Here we report that chloroplasts from npq4 generated more singlet oxygen (1O2) than those from oePsbS. This accompanied a higher extent of photosystem II photoinhibition of leaves from npq4 plants. In contrast, oePsbS was more damaged by high light than npq4 and the wild-type at the level of photosystem I. The plastoquinone pool, as measured by thermoluminescence, was more oxidised in the oePsbS than in npq4, whilst the amount of photo-oxidisable P700, as probed with actinic light or saturating flashes, was higher in oePsbS compared to wild-type and npq4. Taken together, this indicates that the level of PsbS has a regulatory role in cyclic electron flow. Overall, we show that under high light oePsbS plants were more protected from 1O2 at the level of photosystem II, whereas lack of cyclic electron flow rendered them susceptible to damage at photosystem I. Cyclic electron flow is concluded to be essential for protecting photosystem I from high light stress. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.
Roach, T., & Krieger-Liszkay, A. (2012). The role of the PsbS protein in the protection of photosystems i and II against high light in Arabidopsis thaliana. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics, 1817(12), 2158–2165. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbabio.2012.09.011