Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 223–230 | Cite as

Changes in ribulosebisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase and ribulose 5-phosphate kinase abundances and photosynthetic capacity during leaf senescence

  • Steven J. Crafts-Brandner
  • Michael E. Salvucci
  • Dennis B. Egli
Regular Paper


The abundances of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylate/oxygenase (Rubisco) and ribulose-5-phosphate (Ru5P) kinase in field-grown soybean (Glycine max L. Merr.) leaves were quantified by a Western blot technique and related to changes in chlorophyll and photosynthetic capacity during senescence. Even though the leaf content of Rubisco was approximately 80-fold greater than that of Ru5P kinase, the decline in the levels of these two Calvin cycle enzymes occurred in parallel during the senescence of the leaves. Moreover, the decrease in the content of Rubisco was accompanied by parallel decreases of both the large and small subunits of this enzyme but not by an accumulation of altered large or small subunit isoforms. With increasing senescence, decreases in abundances of Rubisco, Ru5P kinase and chlorophyll were closely correlated with the decline in photosynthetic capacity; thus, the specific photosynthetic capacity when expressed per abundance of any of these parameters was rather constant despite an 8-fold decrease in photosynthetic capacity. These results suggest that during senescence of soybean leaves the chloroplast is subject to autolysis by mechanisms causing an approximately 80-fold greater rate of loss of Rubisco than Ru5P kinase.

Key words

Glycine max L. photosynthesis ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase ribulose 5-phosphate kinase senescence 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven J. Crafts-Brandner
    • 1
  • Michael E. Salvucci
    • 1
  • Dennis B. Egli
    • 2
  1. 1.Agricultural Research ServiceUnited States Department of AgricultureLexingtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of AgronomyUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA

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