2Institute of Basic Biological Problems, Pushchino, Moscow Region, Russia
* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received October 13, 2008; Revision received December 11, 2008
The effect of high salt concentration on photosystem II (PS II) electron transport rates and chlorophyll a fluorescence induction kinetics was investigated in coupled and uncoupled spinach thylakoid membranes. With increase in salt concentration, the rates of electron transport mediated by PS II and the Fv/Fm ratio were affected more in uncoupled thylakoids as compared to coupled thylakoid membranes. The uncoupled thylakoid membranes seemed to behave like coupled thylakoid membranes at high NaCl concentration (~1 M). On increasing the salt concentration, the uncoupler was found to be less effective and Na+ probably worked as a coupling enhancer or uncoupling suppressor. We suggest that positive charge of Na+ mimics the function of positive charge of H+ in the thylakoid lumen in causing coupled state. The function of NaCl (monovalent cation) could be carried out by even lower concentration of Ca2+ (divalent cation) or Al3+ (trivalent cation). We conclude that this function of NaCl as coupling enhancer is not specific, and in general a positive charge is required for causing coupling in uncoupled thylakoid membranes.
KEY WORDS: high salt stress, uncoupler, PS II and PS I, electron transport, thylakoid membranes