Contrasting effect of dark-chilling on chloroplast structure and arrangement of chlorophyll-protein complexes in pea and tomato: plants with a different susceptibility to non-freezing temperature

Planta. 2007 Oct;226(5):1165-81. doi: 10.1007/s00425-007-0562-7. Epub 2007 Jun 14.


The effect of dark-chilling and subsequent photoactivation on chloroplast structure and arrangements of chlorophyll-protein complexes in thylakoid membranes was studied in chilling-tolerant (CT) pea and in chilling-sensitive (CS) tomato. Dark-chilling did not influence chlorophyll content and Chl a/b ratio in thylakoids of both species. A decline of Chl a fluorescence intensity and an increase of the ratio of fluorescence intensities of PSI and PSII at 120 K was observed after dark-chilling in thylakoids isolated from tomato, but not from pea leaves. Chilling of pea leaves induced an increase of the relative contribution of LHCII and PSII fluorescence. A substantial decrease of the LHCII/PSII fluorescence accompanied by an increase of that from LHCI/PSI was observed in thylakoids from chilled tomato leaves; both were attenuated by photoactivation. Chlorophyll fluorescence of bright grana discs in chloroplasts from dark-chilled leaves, detected by confocal laser scanning microscopy, was more condensed in pea but significantly dispersed in tomato, compared with control samples. The chloroplast images from transmission-electron microscopy revealed that dark-chilling induced an increase of the degree of grana stacking only in pea chloroplasts. Analyses of O-J-D-I-P fluorescence induction curves in leaves of CS tomato before and after recovery from chilling indicate changes in electron transport rates at acceptor- and donor side of PS II and an increase in antenna size. In CT pea leaves these effects were absent, except for a small but irreversible effect on PSII activity and antenna size. Thus, the differences in chloroplast structure between CS and CT plants, induced by dark-chilling are a consequence of different thylakoid supercomplexes rearrangements.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chlorophyll / metabolism*
  • Chloroplasts / ultrastructure*
  • Cold Temperature*
  • Darkness*
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Lycopersicon esculentum / metabolism*
  • Lycopersicon esculentum / ultrastructure
  • Peas / metabolism*
  • Peas / ultrastructure
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism*
  • Spectrometry, Fluorescence


  • Plant Proteins
  • Chlorophyll