Biologia Plantarum

, Volume 51, Issue 4, pp 799–800 | Cite as

Are red leaves photosynthetically active?

Brief Communication

Abstract

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 

Abbreviations

Chl

chlorophyll

ETR

electron transport rate

PAR

photosynthetically active radiation

PS 2

photosystem 2

qNP

nonphotochemical quenching

qP

photochemical quencing

ΦPS2

quantum yield of PS 2 photochemistry

References

  1. Cuello, J.: Differential effects of linolenic acid and methyl jasmonate on the degradation of chlorophylls and carotenoids of senescing barley leaves.-Acta bot. neerl. 46: 303–314, 1997.Google Scholar
  2. Gould, K.S., Kuhn, D.N., Lee, D.W., Oberbauer, S.F.: Why leaves are sometimes red.-Nature 378: 241–242, 1995.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Gould, K.S., Markham, K.R., Smith, R.H., Goris, J.J.: Functional role of anthocyanins in the leaves of Quintinia serrata A. Cunn.-J. exp. Bot. 51: 1107–1115, 2000.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Kannangara, C.G., Hansson, M.: Arrest of chlorophyll accumulation prior to anthocyanins formation in Euphorbia pulcherrima.-Plant Physiol. Biochem. 36: 843–848, 1998.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Müller, P., Li, X.P., Niyogi, K.K.: Non-photochemical quenching. A response to excess light energy.-Plant Physiol. 125: 1558–1566, 2001.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Pomar, F., Novo, M., Bernal, M.A., Merino, F., Ros Barceló, A.: Changes in stem lignins (monomer composition and crosslinking) and peroxidase are related with the maintenance of leaf photosynthetic integrity during Verticillium wilt of Capsicum annuum.-New Phytol. 163: 111–123, 2004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Institute of Experimental Botany, ASCR 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centro de Investigaciones Agrarias de MabegondoLa CoruñaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Plant Biology (Plant Physiology)University of MurciaMurciaSpain

Personalised recommendations