The occurrence of rapidly reversible non-photochemical quenching of chlorophyll a fluorescence in cyanobacteria

FEBS Lett. 2005 Jan 3;579(1):275-80. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2004.11.091.


Cyanobacteria have previously been considered to differ fundamentally from plants and algae in their regulation of light harvesting. We show here that in fact the ecologically important marine prochlorophyte, Prochlorococcus, is capable of forming rapidly reversible non-photochemical quenching of chlorophyll a fluorescence (NPQf or qE) as are freshwater cyanobacteria when they employ the iron stress induced chlorophyll-based antenna, IsiA. For Prochlorococcus, the capacity for NPQf is greater in high light-adapted strains, except during iron starvation which allows for increased quenching in low light-adapted strains. NPQf formation in freshwater cyanobacteria is accompanied by deep Fo quenching which increases with prolonged iron starvation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / physiology
  • Chlorophyll / chemistry*
  • Chlorophyll A
  • Cyanobacteria / chemistry*
  • Fluorescence*
  • Fresh Water / chemistry
  • Iron / physiology
  • Light-Harvesting Protein Complexes / physiology
  • Photochemistry
  • Prochlorococcus / chemistry
  • Synechococcus / chemistry


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Light-Harvesting Protein Complexes
  • Chlorophyll
  • chlorophyll A binding protein CP43, Cyanobacteria
  • Iron
  • Chlorophyll A