Photochemical efficiencies of photosystem I (PSI) and photosystem II (PSII) were studied in dry thalli of the lichen Hypogymnia physodes and during their re-hydration. In dry thalli, PSII reaction centers are photochemically inactive, as evidenced by the absence of variable chlorophyll (Chl) fluorescence, whereas the primary electron donor of PSI, P700, exhibits irreversible oxidation under continuous light. Upon application of multiple- and, particularly, single-turnover pulses in dry lichen, P700 oxidation partially reversed, which indicated recombination between P700+ and the reduced acceptor FX of PSI. Re-wetting of air-dried H. physodes initiated the gradual restoration of reversible light-induced redox reactions in both PSII and PSI, but the recovery was faster in PSI. Two slow components of P700+ reduction occurred after irradiation of partially and completely hydrated thalli with strong white light. In contrast, no slow component was found in the kinetics of re-oxidation of QA −, the reduced primary acceptor of PSII, after exposure of such thalli to white light. This finding indicated the inability of PSII in H. physodes to provide the reduction of the plastoquinone pool to significant levels. It is concluded that slow alternative electron transport routes may contribute to the energetics of photosynthesis to a larger extent in H. physodes than in higher plants.
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