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AbstractCompared to controlled laboratory conditions, plant growth in the field is rarely optimal since it is frequently challenged by large fluctuations in light and temperature which lower the efficiency of photosynthesis and lead to photo‐oxidative stress. Plants grown under natural conditions therefore place an increased onus on the regulatory mechanisms that protect and repair the delicate photosynthetic machinery. Yet, the exact changes in thylakoid proteome composition which allow plants to acclimate to the natural environment remain largely unexplored. Here, we use quantitative label‐free proteomics to demonstrate that field‐grown Arabidopsis plants incorporate aspects of both the low and high light acclimation strategies previously observed in laboratory‐grown plants. Field plants showed increases in the relative abundance of ATP synthase, cytochrome b6f, ferredoxin‐NADP+ reductases (FNR1 and FNR2) and their membrane tethers TIC62 and TROL, thylakoid architecture proteins CURT1A, CURT1B, RIQ1, and RIQ2, the minor monomeric antenna complex CP29.3, rapidly‐relaxing non‐photochemical quenching (qE)‐related proteins PSBS and VDE, the photosystem II (PSII) repair machinery and the cyclic electron transfer complexes NDH, PGRL1B, and PGR5, in addition to decreases in the amounts of LHCII trimers composed of LHCB1.1, LHCB1.2, LHCB1.4, and LHCB2 proteins and CP29.2, all features typical of a laboratory high light acclimation response. Conversely, field plants also showed increases in the abundance of light harvesting proteins LHCB1.3 and CP29.1, zeaxanthin epoxidase (ZEP) and the slowly‐relaxing non‐photochemical quenching (qI)‐related protein LCNP, changes previously associated with a laboratory low light acclimation response. Field plants also showed distinct changes to the proteome including the appearance of stress‐related proteins ELIP1 and ELIP2 and changes to proteins that are largely invariant under laboratory conditions such as state transition related proteins STN7 and TAP38. We discuss the significance of these alterations in the thylakoid proteome considering the unique set of challenges faced by plants growing under natural conditions.

Original publication




Journal article


Plant Direct



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