Acta Physiologiae Plantarum

, Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 541–548 | Cite as

Variation in violaxanthin and lutein cycle components in two provenances of Acer grandidentatum L. exposed to contrasting light

  • Clare Annabel Bowen-O’Connor
  • Dawn M. VanLeeuwen
  • Greg Bettmann
  • Tracy M. Sterling
  • Rolston St. Hilaire
Original Paper


The ability of ornamental plants to acclimate to contrasting light environments via photoprotection mechanisms such as the violaxanthin (V) and lutein (Lx) cycles determines their success in managed landscapes. This study investigated whether provenance of origin influenced V and Lx cycle components in Acer grandidentatum L. (bigtooth maple) exposed to contrasting light environments. Seven-year-old bigtooth maple plants from two provenances, Lost Maples State Natural Area, Texas (LMPTX) and Guadalupe Mountains, Texas (GMTX) were subjected to unshaded conditions and 48 % shade. Regardless of light treatment, β-carotene content of plants from the LMPTX provenance (1,181 μg g−1) was higher than those from GMTX (964 μg g−1). Lutein content declined from day 5 to 10, but returned to day 5 levels at the end of the experiment at day 15. In contrast, more α-carotene accumulated at day 10 than at day 5. Although the conversion state of the xanthophyll pigment pool was unchanged, zeaxanthin was higher in unshaded than shaded bigtooth maple plants. Chlorophyll a and b decreased from day 5 to 10 and then increased on day 15. Light treatment did not cause photosystem II efficiency and relative water content to differ between the provenances, suggesting that they effectively acclimated to contrasting light conditions.


α-Carotene β-Carotene Bigtooth maples Chlorophyll content Chlorophyll fluorescence Relative water content 







Chlorophyll fluorescence




Lutein epoxide




Violaxanthin de-epoxidase




Zeaxanthin epoxidase


Conflict of interest

The authors declare they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Franciszek Górski Institute of Plant Physiology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clare Annabel Bowen-O’Connor
    • 1
  • Dawn M. VanLeeuwen
    • 2
  • Greg Bettmann
    • 3
  • Tracy M. Sterling
    • 4
  • Rolston St. Hilaire
    • 1
  1. 1.Plant and Environmental SciencesNew Mexico State UniversityLas CrucesUSA
  2. 2.Agricultural Biometric ServiceNew Mexico State UniversityLas CrucesUSA
  3. 3.Entomology, Plant Pathology, and Weed ScienceNew Mexico State UniversityLas CrucesUSA
  4. 4.Land Resources and Environmental SciencesMontana State UniversityBozemanUSA

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