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Physiol Plant. 2012 Apr;144(4):394-408. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3054.2011.01558.x. Epub 2012 Jan 23.

Evaluation of the photosynthetic activity in transgenic tobacco plants with altered endogenous cytokinin content: lessons from cytokinin.

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UHasselt, Laboratory of Molecular and Physical Plant Physiology, Faculty of Sciences, Agoralaan, Bldg.D, B-3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium.


Cytokinin is known to be involved in many processes related to plastid development and function but the exact role of cytokinin in photosynthesis remains elusive. To investigate more profoundly the effects of cytokinin in this process, the photosynthetic activity of transgenic Pssuipt and 35S:CKX1 tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) plants with respectively elevated and reduced endogenous cytokinin content was evaluated. Pigment analysis indicated that elevated endogenous cytokinin content resulted in increased pigment content. Functional analysis of the photosynthetic apparatus by chlorophyll a fluorescence and in vitro electron transport measurements clearly showed that changing the endogenous cytokinin content affects the activity of the photosynthetic apparatus. Surprisingly, both an increase as well as a decrease in cytokinin content results in a better photosynthetic performance. Quenching analysis revealed that the initial responses of the photosynthetic apparatus on a dark-light transition are not affected by changed cytokinin content. However, it has an effect on the further kinetic behavior. Taken together, we suggest that cytokinins can induce structural changes in the different parts of the electron transport chain as also demonstrated by the in vitro electron transport measurements.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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