Biologia Plantarum

, Volume 47, Issue 2, pp 237–242

Effects of Phytoplasma Infection on Pigments, Chlorophyll-Protein Complex and Photosynthetic Activities in Field Grown Apple Leaves


  • M. Bertamini
    • Istituto Agrario di San Michele all' Adige
  • M.S. Grando
    • Istituto Agrario di San Michele all' Adige
  • N. Nedunchezhian
    • Istituto Agrario di San Michele all' Adige

DOI: 10.1023/B:BIOP.0000022258.49957.9a

Cite this article as:
Bertamini, M., Grando, M. & Nedunchezhian, N. Biologia Plantarum (2003) 47: 237. doi:10.1023/B:BIOP.0000022258.49957.9a


Changes in contents of pigments, chlorophyll-protein complex, and photosynthetic activities were investigated in field grown apple (Malus pumila Mill.) leaves infected by Apple Proliferation phytoplasma. The contents of chlorophyll a+b (Chl) and carotenoids (Car) markedly decreased in infected leaves. Similar results were also observed for content of total soluble proteins and ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase activity. When various photosynthetic activities were followed in isolated thylakoids, phytoplasma infection caused a marked inhibition of whole chain and photosystem 2 (PS2) activity. Smaller inhibition of photosystem 1 (PS1) activity was observed even in severely infected leaves. The artificial exogenous electron donors, MnCl2 diphenyl carbazide, and NH2OH, did not restore the loss of PS2 activity in both mildly and severely infected leaves. Similar results were obtained by Chl fluorescence measurements. The marked loss of PS2 activity in infected leaves was due to the reduction of contents of chlorophyll and light-harvesting chlorophyll-protein 2 complexes.

carotenoidselectron transportphotosystemproteinsribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase
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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003