Ultra-structural and functional changes in the chloroplasts of detached barley leaves senescing under dark and light conditions

Martina Spundová, Hana Popelková, Petr Ilík, Jirí Skotnica, Radko Novotný, Jan Naus
Journal of Plant Physiology 2003, 160 (9): 1051-8
Changes in the chloroplast ultra-structure and photochemical function were studied in detached barley (Hordeum vulgare L. cv. Akcent) leaf segments senescing in darkness or in continuous white light of moderate intensity (90 mumol m-2 s-1) for 5 days. A rate of senescence-induced chlorophyll degradation was similar in the dark- and light-senescing segments. The Chl a/b ratio was almost unchanged in the dark-senescing segments, whereas in the light-senescing segments an increase in this ratio was observed indicating a preferential degradation of light-harvesting complexes of photosystem II. A higher level of thylakoid disorganisation (especially of granal membranes) and a very high lipid peroxidation were observed in the light-senescing segments. In spite of these findings, both the maximal and actual photochemical quantum yields of the photosystem II were highly maintained in comparison with the dark-senescing segments.

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