National Key Laboratory for Plant Molecular Genetics, Center of Excellence for Molecular Plant Sciences, Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 300 Fenglin Road, Shanghai, 200032, China. [Email]
Non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) of the excited state of chlorophyll a is a major photoprotective mechanism plants utilize to survive under high light. Here, we report the impact of long-term light quality treatment on photosynthetic properties, especially NPQ in rice. We used three LED-based light regimes, i.e., red (648-672 nm), blue (438-460 nm), and "warm" white light (529-624 nm), with the incident photon flux density of 300 µmol photons m-2 s-1, the difference in the absorbed photon flux densities by leaves grown under different light quality being less than 7%. Our results show that blue light, as compared to white light, induced a significant decrease in Fv/Fm, a decreased rate of reduction of P700+ after P700 was completely oxidized; furthermore, blue light also induced higher NPQ with an increased initial speed of NPQ induction, which corresponds to the qE component of NPQ, and a lower maximum quantum yield of PSII, i.e., Y(II). In contrast, rice grown under long-term red light showed decreased Y(II) and increased NPQ, but with no change in Fv/Fm. Furthermore, we found that rice grown under either blue or red light showed decreased transcript abundance of both catalase and ascorbate peroxidase, together with an increased H2O2 content, as compared to rice grown under white light. All these data suggest that even under a moderate incident light level, rice grown under blue or red light led to compromised antioxidant system, which contributed to decreased quantum yield of photosystem II and increased NPQ.