Role of inorganic nitrogen in the synthesis and degradation of chlorophyll and carotenoids in maize leaves
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Supply of KNO3, NH4Cl or NH4NO3 to the maize seedlings increased total chlorophyll and carotenoids (over zero nitrogen control) amounts per fresh matter unit of the primary leaves. The increase was most apparent when the pigment level in control plants started declining,i.e. between days 14 and 16. Supply of inorganic nitrogen increased pigment synthesis in excised leaf segments from dark grown seedlings, although the increase during a 24 h incubation was not as high as with either glycine or glutamine. Salicylic acid at 0.01 to 1 mM concentration increased and at 10 mM lowered the pigment biosynthesis. The increase at lower concentrations of salicylic acid was unaffected by KNO3 but it was suppressed by NH4Cl. When 12-day seedlings were transferred to the dark, total chlorophyll and carotenoids declined appreciably, but the supply of inorganic nitrogen protected them from decline to same extent. Thus inorganic nitrogen, especially the nitrate, is more important in protecting from degradation of chlorophyll and carotenoids than in increasing their biosyntheses.
KeywordsChlorophyll Carotenoid Salicylic Acid Inorganic Nitrogen Total Chlorophyll
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