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image of Israel Journal of Plant Sciences

Chlorophyll (Chl) b formation in leaves of wheat (Triticum aestivum L. cv. Starke II Weibull) after a short light pulse was followed for 5 h in darkness. Prior to this the leaves were kept in darkness or in continuous far-red light. The far-red light used activated the phytochrome system but did not cause any phototransformation of the protochlorophyllide present. The Chl b/a ratio increased faster in dark-grown leaves than in far-red pretreated ones, i.e. Chl b formation was slower in the latter. Thus, continuous far-red light appears to counteract Chl b formation. When comparing 5- and 7-day-old leaves the Chl b formation was faster in the younger leaves during the first hours after phototransformation. Formation of Chl b in darkness continues for several hours after the initial photo transformation has taken place. Formation of Chl b in wheat in this phase does not seem to depend on the level of chlorophyllide (Chlide), as Chl b formation continues long after Chlide could be detected. Chl b formation in darkness was independent of whether phototransformation was obtained with red, blue or white light and also of whether weaker light had been used, phototransforming only part of the protochlorophyllide present. However, no Chl b was formed when the leaves were kept at 0°C during phototransformation and the subsequent hours in darkness. This indicates that a temperature-dependent enzymatic reaction is involved and that no Chl(ide) b is formed upon photo transformation. Dark-grown leaves irradiated with weak red or blue intermittent light for 5 h had almost the same low Chl b/a ratio over a wide range of Chl formed (20–50 Mg total amount of Chl). High fluency pulses (white photoflashes) for 5 h gave a higher Chl b/a ratio in spite of the same total Chl content as that with low fluency pulses. These results could agree with a hypothesis whereby a high level of Chlide resulting from irradiation with intermittent light of high fluency stimulates Chl b formation.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Plant Physiology, University of Göteborg


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