Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2014, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (7): 720-728.DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1258.2014.00067

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Mechanisms of photoinhibition induced by high light in Hosta grown outdoors

LI Zhi-Zhen1,2, LIU Dong-Huan3,*(), ZHAO Shi-Wei3, JIANG Chuang-Dao1,*(), SHI Lei1   

  1. 1Key Laboratory of Plant Resources, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China
    2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3Beijing Botanical Garden, Beijing 100093, China
  • Received:2014-03-04 Accepted:2014-04-03 Online:2014-03-04 Published:2014-07-10
  • Contact: LIU Dong-Huan,JIANG Chuang-Dao


Aims It has long been recognized that photoinhibition of photosynthesis is induced by high light. However, our recent studies are not consistent with this traditional view. Therefore, the objective of this study is to explore the induction of photoinhibition and its mechanisms under full sunlight outdoors.
Methods Changes of leaf morphology, gas exchange, and chlorophyll a fluorescence were measured to investigate the induction and mechanisms of photoinhibition under high light in Hosta, which is a typical shade-tolerant plant.
Important findings Hosta plants grown under full sunlight (HT) and low light (LT) developed sun- and shade-type leaf morphological characteristics, respectively. Under a full sunlight, Hosta plants had lower photosynthetic rate and chlorophyll content than under the LT; whereas, there were only slight difference in the maximum quantum yield of photosystem II (Fv/Fm) between the two treatments, suggesting that Hosta plants could grow normally under full sunlight without severe photoinhibition. After transition from the low to a high light (LHT), the photosynthetic rate and maximum quantum yield of photosystem II decreased sharply, reflecting that the LHT treatment led to irreversibly inactivation of photosystem II. Additionally, the shape of chlorophyll a fluorescence transients also changed significantly; the relative fluorescence yield of the K and J steps were reduced by 24.3% and 34.2%, respectively, indicating that the acceptor side of photosystem II was damaged more severely than the donor side. Consequently, we postulate that photoinhibition in Hosta leaves is mainly induced by the sudden enhancement of light intensity outdoors. Hosta can acclimate to high irradiance through leaf development outdoors. Our finding is of great significance in understanding the acclimation of plants to high light and cultivation of shade-tolerant plants in field.

Key words: chlorophyll a fluorescence, high light, photoinhibition, photosynthesis, photosystem II