, Volume 198, Issue 1, pp 144-150

Effects of leaf age, nitrogen nutrition and photon flux density on the organization of the photosynthetic apparatus in leaves of a vine (Ipomoea tricolor Cav.) grown horizontally to avoid mutual shading of leaves

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Abstract

Effects of leaf age, nitrogen nutrition and photon flux density (PFD) on the organization of the photosynthetic apparatus in leaves were investigated in a vine, Ipomoea tricolor Cav., which was grown horizontally so as to avoid mutual shading of leaves. The plants were grown hydroponically at two nitrate levels under two growth light treatments. For one group of the plants, leaves were exposed to full sunlight. For another group, respective leaves were artificially shaded in a manner that simulated changes in the light gradient with the development of an erect herbaceous canopy: old leaves were placed under progressively shadier conditions with growth of the plants (canopy-type shading). In all the treatments, chlorophyll (Chl) content gradually decreased with leaf age. Photosystem I (PSI) per Chl was constant, independent of leaf age, nitrogen nutrition and/or PFD. Photosystem II (PSII) and cytochrome / per Chl, and Chl a/b ratio were independent of leaf age and/or nitrogen nutrition but decreased with the decrease in growth PFD. Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase (EC 4.1.1.39, RuBPCase) per Chl steeply decreased with decrease in PFD. When leaves grown at the same PFD were compared, RuBPCase/Chl was lower in the plants grown under lower nitrogen availability and also decreased with leaf age in the plants grown without shading. These decreases were attributed to the curvilinear relationship between RuBPCase and Chl in leaves grown at full sunlight, that was independent of nitrogen availability and leaf age. From these results, it is concluded that the composition of the photosynthetic apparatus is independent of leaf age but changes depending on the light environment and total amount of photosynthetic components of the leaf.

The author thanks Drs. K. Sonoike, Y. Kashino, K. Okada, H. Hatanaka, Y. Suzuki and A. Aoyama for technical advise. The author also thanks Drs. I. Terashima, A. Makino (Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan), Dr. J.R. Evans (Research School of Biological Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra) and Prof. A. Watanabe for valuable suggestions.