Brief Communication

Biologia Plantarum

, Volume 51, Issue 4, pp 799-800

First online:

Are red leaves photosynthetically active?

  • F. PomarAffiliated withCentro de Investigaciones Agrarias de Mabegondo
  • , A. Ros BarcelóAffiliated withDepartment of Plant Biology (Plant Physiology), University of Murcia Email author 

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At irradiances close to those representing a sunny day, red and green leaves of poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) showed only minor differences in their photosynthetic capacities despite the strong differences in their pigment composition. However, contrarily to green leaves, red leaves did not show inhibition of photosynthesis at high irradiances, because anthocyanins protected chloroplasts from photoinhibition.

Additional key words

anthocyanins chlorophyll fluorescence Euphorbia photochemical and non-photochemical quenching photosystem 2 poinsettia