, Volume 145, Issue 5, pp 497–505 | Cite as

Inhibition of carotenoid biosynthesis by the herbicide SAN 9789 and its consequences for the action of phytochrome on plastogenesis

  • S. Frosch
  • M. Jabben
  • R. Bergfeld
  • H. Kleinig
  • H. Mohr


Treatment of the mustard (Sinapis alba L.) seedling with the herbicide SAN 9789 inhibits synthesis of colored carotenoids and interferes with the formation of plastid membrane lipids without affecting growth and morphogenesis significantly. In farred light, which is hardly absorbed by chlorophyll, development of plastid ultrastructure, synthesis of ribulosebisphosphate carboxylase and synthesis of chlorophyll are not affected by SAN 9789. It is concluded that normal phytochrome actions on plastid structural development, protein and chlorophyll syntheses are not affected by the absence of carotenoids provided that there is no significant light absorption in chlorophyll. The findings show that the inhibition of synthesis of one set of plastid membrane components (the carotenoids) does not stop synthesis of other components such as chlorophyll and does not halt membrane assembly. Supplementary experiments with the closely related compound SAN 9785, which affects the amount and composition of plastid lipids but not carotenoid and chlorophyll syntheses, suggest that the effect of the herbicide SAN 9789 is due exclusively to its inhibition of synthesis of colored carotenoids. In the presence of SAN 9789 white or red light at high fluence rate causes photodestruction of chlorophyll and ribulosebisphosphate carboxylase and photodecomposition of thylakoids. These effects are interpreted as resulting exclusively from the self-photooxidation and photosensitizing action of chlorophyll once the protection by carotenoids of chlorophyll against self- and sensitized photooxidation is lost.

Key words

Carotenoids Chlorophylls Herbicides Phytochrome Plastid development Ribulosebisphosphate carboxylase 



ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase (EC


chlorophyll a plus chlorophyll b


phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (EC

SAN 9789

-chloro-5-(methylamino)-2-(α, α, α-trifluoro-m-tolyl)-3 (2H) pyridazinone

SAN 9785

4-chloro-5-(dimethylamino)-2-phenyl-3(2H)-pyridazione. SAN 9789 is sold commercially under the trade name Norflurazon


far red


white light


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Frosch
    • 1
  • M. Jabben
    • 1
  • R. Bergfeld
    • 1
  • H. Kleinig
    • 1
  • H. Mohr
    • 1
  1. 1.Biologisches Institut IIUniversität FreiburgFreiburgFederal Republic of Germany

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