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image of Israel Journal of Plant Sciences

A reorganization of the components is known to occur in developing thylakoids after transfer to darkness. The mechanism controlling this process was investigated as to whether the reorganization early during greening in continuous light was due (i) to the ability of the thylakoids to increase the number of the PSI and PSII units, in order to reach the number of the mature chloroplast, or (ii) to the instability of the LHCP. Six- day etiolated bean leaves were exposed for various durations to intermittent light (LDC, 2 min light/98 min dark), and small PSI and PSII units, containing only the core of the units, were synthesized. The number of these units increased as the time in LDC increased. These leaves were then transferred to CL, where accumulation of chlorophyll b (Chi b) and LHCP took place and the photosynthetic units increased in size. Thereafter, these leaves were transferred to darkness. In leaves exposed to CL for 24 h after a short pre-exposure to intermittent light (14 LDC), a reorganization occurred after transfer to darkness, while in leaves exposed to CL for 24 h after a prolonged pre-exposure to intermittent light (42 LDC), no reorganization occurred. Chi b and LHCP complex accumulated in both cases, after transfer to CL. However, only in the first case, where the thylakoids contain reduced amounts of PSI and PSII units, is the reorganization of thylakoid components noticed. We conclude that the reorganization of thylakoid components which occurs when greening leaves are transferred to darkness takes place only in thylakoids with reduced numbers of PSI and PSII units, and that this probably occurs in order to increase the number of the PSI and PSII units and, accordingly, the photosynthetic efficiency of the thylakoids.

Affiliations: 1: Biology Department, Nuclear Research Center “Demokritos”, Greek Atomic Energy Commission


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