Regulation of photosynthesis during abiotic stress-induced photoinhibition

Mayank Anand Gururani, Jelli Venkatesh, Lam Son Phan Tran

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

584 Citations (Scopus)


Plants as sessile organisms are continuously exposed to abiotic stress conditions that impose numerous detrimental effects and cause tremendous loss of yield. Abiotic stresses, including high sunlight, confer serious damage on the photosynthetic machinery of plants. Photosystem II (PSII) is one of the most susceptible components of the photosynthetic machinery that bears the brunt of abiotic stress. In addition to the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by abiotic stress, ROS can also result from the absorption of excessive sunlight by the light-harvesting complex. ROS can damage the photosynthetic apparatus, particularly PSII, resulting in photoinhibition due to an imbalance in the photosynthetic redox signaling pathways and the inhibition of PSII repair. Designing plants with improved abiotic stress tolerance will require a comprehensive understanding of ROS signaling and the regulatory functions of various components, including protein kinases, transcription factors, and phytohormones, in the responses of photosynthetic machinery to abiotic stress. Bioenergetics approaches, such as chlorophyll a transient kinetics analysis, have facilitated our understanding of plant vitality and the assessment of PSII efficiency under adverse environmental conditions. This review discusses the current understanding and indicates potential areas of further studies on the regulation of the photosynthetic machinery under abiotic stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1304-1320
Number of pages17
JournalMolecular Plant
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 7 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • abiotic stress
  • chlorophyll a
  • fluorescence
  • hormones
  • light-harvesting complex
  • photosynthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Plant Science


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