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Chloroplast acclimation in leaves of Guzmania monostachia in response to high light

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Howard Griffiths


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Acclimation of leaves to high light (HL; 650 μmol m-2 s-1) was investigated in the long-lived epiphytic bromeliad Guzmania monostachia and compared with plants maintained under low light (LL; 50 μmol m-2 s-1). Despite a 60% decrease in total chlorophyll in HL-grown plants, the chlorophyll a/b ratio remained stable. Additionally, chloroplasts from HL-grown plants had a much lower thylakoid content and reduced granal stacking. Immunofluorescent labeling techniques were used to quantify the level of photosynthetic polypeptides. HL-grown plants had 30% to 40% of the content observed in LL-grown plants for the light-harvesting complex associated with photosystems I and II, the 33-kD photosystem II polypeptide, and Rubisco. These results were verified using conventional biochemical techniques, which revealed a comparable 60% decrease in Rubisco and total soluble protein. When expressed on a chlorophyll basis, the amount of protein and Rubisco was constant for HL- and LL-grown plants. Acclimation to HL involves a tightly coordinated adjustment of photosynthesis, indicating a highly regulated decrease in the number of photosynthetic units manifested at the level of the content of light-harvesting and electron transport components, the amount of Rubisco, and the induction of Crassulacean acid metabolism. This response occurs in mature leaves and may represent a strategy that is optimal for the resource-limited epiphytic niche.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Maxwell K, Marrison JL, Leech RM, Griffiths H, Horton P

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Plant Physiology

Year: 1999

Volume: 121

Issue: 1

Pages: 89-96

Print publication date: 01/09/1999

ISSN (print): 0032-0889

ISSN (electronic): 1532-2548

Publisher: American Society of Plant Biologists


DOI: 10.1104/pp.121.1.89

PubMed id: 10482664


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