The pH strongly influences the uranium-induced effects on the photosynthetic apparatus of Arabidopsis thaliana plants

    Research outputpeer-review


    To study the impact of environmental uranium contamination, effects should be analysed at different environmentally relevant pH levels as the speciation of U is strongly dependent on the pH. As photosynthesis is a major energy producing process in plants, the effects of different U concentrations on photosynthesis in 18-day-old Arabidopsis thaliana are investigated at pH 4.5 and pH 7.5. At pH 4.5, U is highly taken up by the roots but is poorly translocated to the shoots, while at pH 7.5, less U is taken up but the translocation is higher.U does not influence the photosynthetic machinery at pH 7.5, while an optimization of the photosynthesis takes place after U exposure at pH 4.5. As such, more of the absorbed quanta are effectively used for photosynthesis accompanied by a decreased non-photochemical quenching and an increased electron tranposrt rate. Since the enhanced photosynthesis at pH 4.5 is accompanied by a decreased growth, we suggest that the energy produced during photosynthesis is used for defence reactions against U-induced oxidtaive stress rather than for growth. As such, a high discrepancy was observed between the two pH levels, with an optimized photosynthetic apparatus at pH 4.5 and almost no effects at pH 7.5.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)254-261
    JournalPlant Physiology and Biochemistry
    StatePublished - Sep 2014

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