Photosynthetic organisms have sought out the delicate balance between efficient light harvesting under limited irradiance and regulated energy dissipation under excess irradiance. One of the protective mechanisms is the thermal energy dissipation through the xanthophyll cycle that may transform harmlessly the excitation energy into heat and thereby prevent the formation of damaging active oxygen species (AOS). Another important biological pathway is the chloroplast water-water cycle. This mechanism is active in the scavenging of AOS, when there is over- reduction of components of the photosynthetic electron transport chain. The control of the VDE gene and the variations of a set of physiological parameters, such as chlorophyll florescence and AOS content, have been investigated in response to excess of light and drought condition using Arabidopsis thaliana and Arbutus unedo.