Responses of the photosynthetic activity of Phaeodactylum tricornutum (Bacillariophyta) to organic carbon glycerol were investigated. The growth rate, photosynthetic pigments, 77 K fluorescence spectra, and chloroplast ultrastructure of P. tricornutum were examined under photoautotrophic, mixotrophic, and photoheterotrophic conditions. The results showed that the specific growth rate was the fastest under mixotrophic conditions. The cell photosynthetic pigment content and values of Chl a/Chl c were reduced under mixotrophic and photoheterotrophic conditions. The value of carotenoid/Chl a was enhanced under mixotrophic conditions, but was decreased under photoheterotrophic conditions. In comparison with photoautotrophic conditions, the fluorescence emission peaks and fluorescence excitation peaks were not shifted. The relative fluorescence of photosystem (PS) I and PS II and the values of F685/F710 and F685/F738 were decreased. Chloroplast thylakoid pairs were less packed under mixotrophic and photoheterotrophic conditions. There was a strong correlation between degree of chloroplast thylakoid packing and the excitation energy kept in PS II. These results suggested that the PS II activity was reduced by glycerol under mixotrophic conditions, thereby leading to repression of the photosynthetic activity.
Liu XJ, Duan SS, Li AF, Sun KF (2009). Effects of glycerol on the fluorescence spectra and chloroplast ultrastructure of Phaeodactylum tricornutum (Bacillariophyta). J. Integr. Plant Biol. 51(3), 272–278.