Feedback regulation of photosynthetic electron transport by NADP(H) redox poise

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2008 May;1777(5):433-40. doi: 10.1016/j.bbabio.2008.02.007. Epub 2008 Mar 6.


When plants experience an imbalance between the absorption of light energy and the use of that energy to drive metabolism, they are liable to suffer from oxidative stress. Such imbalances arise due to environmental conditions (e.g. heat, chilling or drought), and can result in the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Here, we present evidence for a novel protective process - feedback redox regulation via the redox poise of the NADP(H) pool. Photosynthetic electron transport was studied in two transgenic tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) lines - one having reduced levels of ferredoxin NADP+-reductase (FNR), the enzyme responsible for reducing NADP+, and the other reduced levels of glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), the principal consumer of NADPH. Both had a similar degree of inhibition of carbon fixation and impaired electron transport. However, whilst FNR antisense plants were obviously stressed, with extensive bleaching of leaves, GAPDH antisense plants showed no visible signs of stress, beyond having a slowed growth rate. Examination of electron transport in these plants indicated that this difference is due to feedback regulation occurring in the GAPDH but not the FNR antisense plants. We propose that this reflects the occurrence of a previously undescribed regulatory pathway responding to the redox poise of the NADP(H) pool.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Electron Transport / physiology
  • Ferredoxin-NADP Reductase / genetics
  • Ferredoxin-NADP Reductase / metabolism
  • Glyceraldehyde 3-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (NADP+) / genetics
  • Glyceraldehyde 3-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (NADP+) / metabolism
  • NADP / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Photosynthesis / physiology*
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • Tobacco / genetics
  • Tobacco / metabolism*
  • Tobacco / physiology


  • NADP
  • Ferredoxin-NADP Reductase
  • Glyceraldehyde 3-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (NADP+)