Photochemical responses of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) plants to heat stress
In this study, photochemical responses of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) cultivar, ‘Beith Alpha F1’, under moderate and severe heat stress (45 °C and 55 °C, 4 hours) was studied. Chlorophyll a fluorescence measurement and the results of the JIP test indicated that severe heat stress was more drastically affected the photosynthetic activity as compared to moderate heat stress in the cotyledons of cucumber plants. Severe heat stress, for example, led to the increased level of Fo and decreased level of Fm, Fv/Fo, and Fv/Fm, suggesting remarkable photoinhibition on electron transport reactions in cucumber plants. Also, severe heat stress caused the increased level of accumulation of inactive reaction centers, resulting in a decreased amount of trapped light energy and electron transport on PSII. The enhanced values of DIo/RC and fDo in the cotyledons of cucumber plants indicated that the trapped energy cannot be used for photochemical reactions and lost as heat. Consequently, the reduction of the plastoquinone pool was partly inhibited due to the decreased yield of photochemistry. As a result, it may be concluded that severe heat stress inhibited PSII activity in several points and decreased photosynthetic yield in the cotyledons of cucumber plants.
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