Safety valves for photosynthesis

Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2000 Dec;3(6):455-60. doi: 10.1016/s1369-5266(00)00113-8.


Recent studies have provided new insights into the ways that plants may dissipate excess photons and electrons, thereby protecting the photosynthetic apparatus against light-induced damage. These 'safety valves' include nonphotochemical mechanisms for quenching excited chlorophylls, as well as alternative electron acceptors such as oxygen.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chlorophyll / physiology
  • Electrons
  • Light-Harvesting Protein Complexes
  • Oxygen / metabolism
  • Photons
  • Photosynthesis*
  • Photosynthetic Reaction Center Complex Proteins / metabolism


  • Light-Harvesting Protein Complexes
  • Photosynthetic Reaction Center Complex Proteins
  • Chlorophyll
  • Oxygen