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Planta. 2003 Jan;216(3):475-83. Epub 2002 Sep 25.

Characterization of two phases of chlorophyll formation during greening of etiolated barley leaves.

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  • 1Institute of Photobiology of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Akademicheskaya 27, 220072 Minsk, Belarus.


The esterification kinetics of chlorophyllide, obtained by a single flash of light, were investigated in etiolated barley ( Hordeum vulgare L.) and oat ( Avena sativa L.) leaves. A rapid phase, leading to esterification of 15% of total chlorophyllide within 15-30 s, was followed by a lag-phase of nearly 2 min and a subsequent main phase, leading to esterification of 85% of total chlorophyllide within 30-60 min. The presence of additional protochlorophyllide, produced in the leaves by incubation with 5-aminolevulinate, did not change the esterification kinetics. The rapid phase was identical after partial (11-15%) and full (>80%) photoconversion of protochlorophyllide; the ability for a second rapid esterification phase was restored in a dark period of at least 10 min. Cooling the leaves to 0 degrees C abolished the esterification of the main phase while the rapid phase remained unchanged. The prolamellar bodies were already in part transformed into prothylakoid-like structures within 2-5 min after a full flash but not after a weak flash (11% photoconversion); in the latter case, the corresponding transformation required a dark period of about 45 min. The existence of subcomplexes of prolamellar bodies containing NADPH:protochlorophyllide oxidoreductase and chlorophyll synthase in the ratio 7:1 is discussed.

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