Plectonema boryanum UTEX 485 cells were grown at 29°C and 150 μmol m−2 s−1 photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) and exposed to PAR combined with ultraviolet-A radiation (UV-A) at 15°C. This induced a time-dependent inhibition of photosystem II (PSII) photochemistry measured as a decrease of the chlorophyll a fluorescence ratio, Fv/Fm, to 50% after 2 h of UV-A treatment compared to nontreated control cells. Exposure of the same cells to PAR combined with UV-A ultraviolet-B radiation (UV-B) caused only a 30% inhibition of PSII photochemistry relative to nontreated cells. In contrast, UV-A and UV-A UV-B irradiation of cells cultured at 15°C and 150 μmol m−2 s−1 had minimal effects on the Fv/Fm values. However, cells grown at 15°C and lower PAR irradiance (6 μmol m−2 s−1) exhibited similar inhibition patterns of PSII photochemistry as control cells. The decreased sensitivity of PSII photochemistry of P. boryanum grown at 15°C and 150 μmol m−2 s−1 to subsequent exposure to UV radiation relative to either control cells or cells grown at low temperature but low irradiance was correlated with the following: (1) a reduced efficiency of energy transfer to PSII reaction centers; (2) higher levels of a carotenoid tentatively identified as myxoxanthophyll; (3) the accumulation of scytonemin and mycosporine amino acids; and (4) the accumulation of ATP-dependent caseinolytic proteases. Thus, acclimation of P. boryanum at low temperature and moderate irradiance appears to confer significant resistance to UV-induced photoinhibition of PSII. The role of excitation pressure in the induction of this resistance to UV radiation is discussed.
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Vol. 72 • No. 6