, Volume 52, Issue 2, pp 217–222 | Cite as

Leaf chloroplast ultrastructure and photosynthetic properties of a chlorophyll-deficient mutant of rice

  • Z. M. Wu
  • X. Zhang
  • J. L. Wang
  • J. M. Wan


Leaf chloroplast ultrastructure and photosynthetic properties of a natural, yellow-green leaf mutant (ygl1) of rice were characterized. Our results showed that chloroplast development was significantly delayed in the mutant leaves compared with the wild-type rice (WT). As leaves matured, more grana stacks formed concurrently with increasing leaf chlorophyll (Chl) content. Except for the lower intercellular CO2 concentration, the ygl1 plants had a higher leaf net photosynthetic rate, stomatal conductance, and transpiration rate than those of the WT plants. Under equal amounts of Chl, the excitation energy of PSI and PSII was much stronger in the mutant than that in the WT. The ygl1 plants showed higher nonphotochemical quenching and lower photochemical quenching. They also exhibited higher actual photochemical efficiency of PSII with a higher electron transport rate. Under the light of 200 μmol(photon) m−2 s−1, the ygl1 mutant showed lesser deepoxidation of violaxanthin in the xanthophyll cycle than WT, but it increased substantially under strong light conditions. In conclusion, the photosynthetic machinery of the ygl1 remained stable during leaf development. The plants were less sensitive to photoinhibition compared with WT due to the active xanthophyll cycle. The ygl1 plants were efficient in both light harvesting and conversion of solar energy.

Additional key words

chlorophyll fluorescence photosynthesis rice ultrastructure violaxanthin 







intercellular CO2 concentration


deepoxidation ratio


electron transport rate


fresh mass


maximal fluorescence in dark-adapted leaves


maximum variable fluorescence in dark-adapted leaves


stomatal conductance


nonphotochemical quenching


net photosynthetic rate


photochemical quenching


transpiration rate




wild-type rice


actual PSII efficiency






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Copyright information

© The Institute of Experimental Botany 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Crop Physiology, Ecology and Genetic Breeding, Ministry of Education and Jiangxi ProvinceJiangxi Agricultural UniversityNanchangChina
  2. 2.The National Key Facility for Crop Gene Resources and Genetic Improvement, Institute of Crop ScienceChinese Academy of Agricultural SciencesBeijingChina

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