The non-photochemical reduction of plastoquinone in leaves

Quentin J. Groom, David M. Kramer, Antony R. Crofts, Donald R. Ort

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although it is generally assumed that the plastoquinone pool of thylakoid membranes in leaves of higher plants is rapidly oxidized upon darkening, this is often not the case. A multiflash kinetic fluorimeter was used to monitor the redox state of the plastoquinone pool in leaves. It was found that in many species of plants, particularly those using the NAD-malic enzyme C4 system of photosynthesis, the pool actually became more reduced following a light to dark transition. In some Amaranthus species, plastoquinone remained reduced in the dark for several hours. Far red light, which preferentially drives Photosystem I turnover, could effectively oxidize the plastoquinone pool. Plastoquinone was re-reduced in the dark within a few seconds when far red illumination was removed. The underlying mechanism of the dark reduction of the plastoquinone pool is still uncertain but may involve chlororespiratory activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-215
Number of pages11
JournalPhotosynthesis research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1993


  • chlororespiration
  • flash fluorescence
  • photosynthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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