The variable fluorescence at the maximum Fm of the fluorescence induction (Kautsky) curve is known to be substantially suppressed shortly after light adaption due to nonphotochemical qE quenching. The kinetic pattern of the dark decay at Fm consists of three components with rates ~20, ~1, and ~0.1 s–1, respectively. Light adaptation has no or little effect on these rate constants. It causes a decrease in the ratio between the amplitudes of the slow and fast one with negligible change in the small amplitude of the ultra-slow component. Results add to evidence for the hypothesis that the dark-reversible decrease in variable fluorescence accompanying light adaptation during the P–S phase of the fluorescence induction curve is due to an alteration in nonphotochemical qE quenching caused by changes in the trans-thylakoid proton motive force in response to changes in the proton conductance gH+ of the CF0-channel of the CF0·CF1·ATPase.
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