Synthetic quinones influencing herbicide binding and Photosystem II electron transport. The effects of triazine-resistance on quinone binding properties in thylakoid membranes

Wim F.J. Vermaas, Charles J. Arntzen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Scopus citations


We have analyzed the binding of synthetic quinones and herbicides which inhibit electron transport at the acceptor side of Photosystem II (PS II) of the photosynthetic electron-transport chain in thylakoid membranes. These data show that quinones and PS II-directed herbicides compete for binding to a common binding environment within a PS II region which functions as the Q- PQ oxidoreductase. We observed that (1) synthetic quinones cause a parallel inhibition of electron transport and [14C]herbicide displacement, and (2) herbicide binding is affected both by the fully oxidized and fully reduced form of a quinone. Quinone function and inhibitor binding were also investigated in thylakoids isolated from triazine-resistant weed biotypes. We conclude the following. (1) The affinity of the secondary accepting quinone, B, is decreased in resistant thylakoids. (2) The observation that the equilibrium concentration of reduced Q after transferring one electron to the acceptor side of PS II is increased in resistant as compared to susceptible chloroplasts may be explained both by a decrease in the affinity of PQ for the herbicide / quinone binding environment, and by a decrease of the midpont redox potential of the B B- couple. (3) The binding environment regulating quinone and herbicide affinity may be divided roughly into two domains; we suggest that the domain regulating quinone head-group binding is little changed in resistant membranes, whereas the domain-regulating quinone side-group binding (and atrazine) is altered. This results in increased inhibitory activity of tetrachloro-p-benzoquinone and phenolic herbicides, which are hypothesized to utilize the quinone head-group domain. The two domains appear to be spatially overlapping because efficient atrazine displacement by tetrachloro-p-benzoquinone is observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)483-491
Number of pages9
JournalBBA - Bioenergetics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 30 1983



  • Electron transport
  • Herbicide
  • Photosystem II
  • Plastoquinone
  • Quinone
  • Thylakoid membrane

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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