Journal of Plant Research

, Volume 108, Issue 2, pp 171–180 | Cite as

Leaf-goldenning induced by high light inFicus microcarpa L. f., a tropical fig

  • Hideo Yamasaki
  • Rika Heshiki
  • Norikatsu Ikehara
Original Articles


A novel yellow-leaved cultivar of tropical tree was characterized with morphological, histochemical and biochemical analysis.Ficus microcarpa L. f. cv. Golden Leaf shows characteristic golden (yellow) leaves as well as normal green leaves under the subtropical field condition. Except the appearance of the yellow leaves, morphological characteristics of Golden Leaf agreed to those of wild-type. The yellow leaves of Golden Leaf contained low amount of chlorophyll (8%) and carotenoid (26%), whereas flavonoid level was 5-fold higher than that of wild-type. TLC of hydrolysate of the methanol-extract showed the increase of two flavonols in the yellow leaves. Fluorescence from leaf transverse section indicated that those changes in pigment contents took place in mesophyll cells. Despite low content of photosynthetic pigments the yellow leaves involved the comparable amount of Rubisco subunits to wild-type. The reduced chlorophyll content of the yellow leaves was restored by shading them from high-light but the UV-shading did not alter the pigment content. Those characteristics of the yellow leaves were not observed in the green leaves of Golden Leaf. Results suggest that Golden Leaf is attributed to a chloroplast mutant ofF. microcarpa that is sensitive to continuous high-light irradiation. The mechanism of the leaf-goldenning (yellowing) is discussed in relation to high-light stress and to leaf-senescence.

Key words

Chlorophyll Flavonoid High-light Leaf senescence Photosynthesis Tropics 



oxygen-evolving photosystem of thylakoid membranes


ribulose-1, 5-bisphosphate carboxylase


thin layer chromatography


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Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Japan 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hideo Yamasaki
    • 1
  • Rika Heshiki
    • 1
  • Norikatsu Ikehara
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of the RyukyusNishihara, OkinawaJapan

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