Psb27, a photosystem II assembly protein, enables quenching of excess light energy during its participation in the PSII lifecycle

Virginia M. Johnson, Sandeep Biswas, Johnna L. Roose, Himadri B. Pakrasi, Haijun Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Photosystem II (PSII), the enzyme responsible for oxidizing water into molecular oxygen, undergoes a complex lifecycle during which multiple assembly proteins transiently bind to and depart from PSII assembly intermediate complexes. Psb27 is one such protein. It associates with the CP43 chlorophyll-binding subunit of PSII to form a Psb27-PSII sub-complex that constitutes 7–10% of the total PSII pool. Psb27 remains bound to PSII assembly intermediates and dissociates prior to the formation of fully functional PSII. In this study, we compared a series of Psb27 mutant strains in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 with varied expression levels of Psb27: wild type (WT); psb27 genetic deletion (Del27), genetically complemented psb27 (Com27); and over-expressed Psb27 (OE27). The Del27 strain demonstrated decreased non-photochemical fluorescence quenching, while the OE27 strain showed increased non-photochemical quenching and tolerance to fluctuating light conditions. Multiple flashes and fluorescence decay analysis indicated that OE27 has the least affected maximum PSII quantum yield of the mutants. OE27 also displayed a minimal impact on the half-life of the fast component of QA reoxidation over multiple flashes, indicating robust PSII function. We propose that the close association between Psb27 and CP43, and the absence of a fully functional manganese cluster in the Psb27-PSII complex create a PSII sub-population that dissipates excitation energy prior to its recruitment into the functional PSII pool. Efficient energy dissipation prevents damage to this pre-PSII pool and allows for efficient PSII repair and maturation. Participation of Psb27 in the PSII life cycle ensures high-quality PSII assembly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-304
Number of pages8
JournalPhotosynthesis Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • Non-photochemical quenching
  • Photosynthesis
  • Photosystem II
  • Synechocystis 6803


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