Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture

, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp 177–185 | Cite as

Light quality affects photosynthesis and leaf anatomy of birch plantlets in vitro

  • Arne Sæbø
  • Trygve Krekling
  • Maigull Appelgren


Cultures in vitro of Betula pendula Roth were subjected to light of different spectral qualities. Photosynthetic capacity was highest when the plantlets were exposed to blue light (max recorded photosynthesis, 82 μmol CO2 dm−2 h−1) and lowest when irradiated with light high in red and/or far-red wave lengths (max recorded photosynthesis, 40 μmol CO2 dm−2 h−1). Highest chlorophyll content (2.2 mg dm−2 leaf area) was found in cultures irradiated with blue light, which also enhanced the leaf area. Morphometric analysis of light micrographs showed that the epidermal cell areas were largest in plantlets subjected to blue light and smallest in those subjected to red light. Morphometric analysis of electron micrographs of palisade cells, showed that the functional chloroplast area was largest in chloroplasts of leaves subjected to blue light and smallest in those exposed to red light. We suggest that light quality affects photosynthesis both through effects on the composition of the photosynthetic apparatus and on translocation of carbohydrates from chloroplasts.

Key words

anatomy Betula pendula physiology plantlet environment propagation 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arne Sæbø
    • 1
  • Trygve Krekling
    • 2
  • Maigull Appelgren
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Horticulture and Crop SciencesAgricultural University of NorwayÅsNorway
  2. 2.Laboratory for Analytical ChemistryDepartment Electr. Micr.ÅSNorway

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