High salt-induced PSI-supercomplex is associated with high CEF and attenuation of state transitions

Isha Kalra, Xin Wang, Ru Zhang, Rachael Morgan-Kiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


While PSI-driven cyclic electron flow (CEF) and assembly of thylakoid supercomplexes have been described in model organisms like Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, open questions remain regarding their contributions to survival under long-term stress. The Antarctic halophyte, C. priscuii UWO241 (UWO241), possesses constitutive high CEF rates and a stable PSI-supercomplex as a consequence of adaptation to permanent low temperatures and high salinity. To understand whether CEF represents a broader acclimation strategy to short- and long-term stress, we compared high salt acclimation between the halotolerant UWO241, the salt-sensitive model, C. reinhardtii, and a moderately halotolerant Antarctic green alga, C. sp. ICE-MDV (ICE-MDV). CEF was activated under high salt and associated with increased non-photochemical quenching in all three Chlamydomonas species. Furthermore, high salt-acclimated cells of either strain formed a PSI-supercomplex, while state transition capacity was attenuated. How the CEF-associated PSI-supercomplex interferes with state transition response is not yet known. We present a model for interaction between PSI-supercomplex formation, state transitions, and the important role of CEF for survival during long-term exposure to high salt.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-84
Number of pages20
JournalPhotosynthesis Research
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Sep 2023


  • Acclimation
  • Antarctica
  • Chlamydomonas
  • Cyclic electron flow
  • PSI-supercomplex
  • Salinity
  • State transitions


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