, Volume 167, Issue 1, pp 146–151 | Cite as

Leaf senescence in a non-yellowing mutant of Festuca pratensis: Photosynthesis and photosynthetic electron transport

  • P. Hilditch
  • H. Thomas
  • L. Rogers


The photosynthetic capacity of detached leaves of a non-yellowing mutant of Festuca pratensis Huds. declined during senescence at a similar rate to that in a normal cultivar. Respiratory oxygen uptake in the dark continued at similar rates in both genotypes during several days of senescence. In chloroplasts isolated from leaves at intervals after excision, the rate of photosystem I (PS I)-mediated methyl viologen reduction using reduced N,N,N′,N′-tetramethyl-p-phenylene diamine as electron donor also declined in both genotypes, possibly due to loss of integrity of the photosynthetic apparatus in the cytochrome f-plastocyanin region. There was a similar fall in PS II electron transport using water as electron donor and measured at the rate of reduction of 2,6-dichlorophenolindophenol. Partial restoration of this activity by the addition of diphenyl carbazide was evidence for lability of the oxygen-evolving complex during senescence. An accentuated difference between mutant and normal material in this case indicated that the mutant retains a greater number of functional PS II centres. Changes in the light-saturation characteristics of the two photosystems have been discussed in relation to the organization of the photosynthetic membranes during senescence.

Key words

Festuca Leaf senescence Mutant (FestucaPhotosynthesis and senescence Senescence (leaf) 

Abbreviations and symbols






dimethyl sulphoxide


diphenyl carbazide


methyl viologen


photosystem I, II


N,N,N′,N′-tetramethyl-p-phenylene diamine


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Hilditch
    • 1
    • 2
  • H. Thomas
    • 1
  • L. Rogers
    • 2
  1. 1.Plant Biochemistry DepartmentWelsh Plant Breeding StationAberystwyth
  2. 2.Department of Biochemistry and Agricultural BiochemistryUniversity College of WalesAberystwythUK

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