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FEBS Lett. 1993 May 24;323(1-2):31-4.

Derivation of the formyl-group oxygen of chlorophyll b from molecular oxygen in greening leaves of a higher plant (Zea mays).

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Botanisches Institut der Universität, München, Germany.


Using mass spectroscopy, we demonstrate as much as 93% enrichment of the 7-formyl group oxygen of chlorophyll b when dark-grown, etiolated maize leaves are greened under white light in the presence of 18O2. This suggests that a mono-oxygenase is involved in the oxidation of its methyl group precursor. The concomitant enrichment of about 75% of the 13(1)-oxygen confirms the well-documented finding that this oxo group, in both chlorophyll a and b, also arises from O2. High 18O enrichment into the 7-formyl oxygen relative to the substrate 18O2 was achieved by optimization of the greening conditions in combination with a reductive extraction procedure. It indicates not only a single pathway for Chl b formyl group formation, but also unequivocally demonstrates that molecular oxygen is the sole precursor of the 7-formyl oxygen.

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