Interactions between photosynthesis, mitochondrial respiration (mitorespiration), and chlororespiration have been investigated in the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii using flash illumination and a bare platinum electrode. Depending on the physiological status of algae, flash illumination was found to induce either a fast (t1/2 ≈ 300 ms) or slow (t1/2 ≈ 3 s) transient inhibition of oxygen uptake. Based on the effects of the mitorespiratory inhibitors myxothiazol and salicyl hydroxamic acid (SHAM), and of propyl gallate, an inhibitor of the chlororespiratory oxidase, we conclude that the fast transient is due to the flash-induced inhibition of chlororespiration and that the slow transient is due to the flash-induced inhibition of mitorespiration. By measuring blue-green fluorescence changes, related to the redox status of the pyridine nucleotide pool, and chlorophyll fluorescence, related to the redox status of plastoquinones (PQs) in C. reinhardtii wild type and in a photosystem I-deficient mutant, we show that interactions between photosynthesis and chlororespiration are favored when PQ and pyridine nucleotide pools are reduced, whereas interactions between photosynthesis and mitorespiration are favored at more oxidized states. We conclude that the plastid oxidase, similar to the mitochondrial alternative oxidase, becomes significantly engaged when the PQ pool becomes highly reduced, and thereby prevents its over-reduction.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Plant Science