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Evidence suggests that the small chloroplast heat-shock protein (Hsp) is involved in plant thermotolerance but its site of action is unknown. Functional disruption of this Hsp using anti-Hsp antibodies or addition of purified Hsp to chloroplasts indicated that (a) this Hsp protects thermolabile photosystem II and, consequently, whole-chain electron transport during heat stress; and (b) this Hsp completely accounted for heat acclimation of electron transport in pre-heat-stressed plants. Therefore, this Hsp is a major adaptation to acute heat stress in plants.
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