Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 62, Issue 2, pp 165–174 | Cite as

The effect of copper on chlorophyll organization during greening of barley leaves

  • Varda Caspi
  • Magdolna Droppa
  • Gábor Horváth
  • Shmuel Malkin
  • Jonathan B. MarderEmail author
  • Victor I. Raskin


The effect of copper on chlorophyll organization and function during greening of barley was examined, using chlorophyll fluorescence and photoacoustic techniques. Copper was found to inhibit pigment accumulation and to retard chlorophyll integration into the photosystems, as evident from low temperature (77 K) fluorescence spectra. Resolution of the minimal fluorescence (F0) into active and inactive parts, indicated a higher inactive fraction with copper treatment. This was attributed to chlorophyll molecules which failed to integrate normally, a conclusion supported by the longer fluorescence lifetime observed in copper treated plants. A lower ratio of chlorophyll a to b and fluorescence induction transients, showing accelerated Photosystem II closure, both indicate that copper treatment resulted in a larger light-harvesting antenna. Another effect of copper treatment was the suppression of oxygen evolution, indicating a decrease in photosynthetic capacity. We suggest that the non-integrated chlorophyll fraction sensitizes photodamage in the membrane, contributing to disruption of electron flow and pigment accumulation.

chlorophyll fluorescence oxygen evolution photoacoustic photodamage Photosystem II 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Varda Caspi
    • 1
  • Magdolna Droppa
    • 2
  • Gábor Horváth
    • 2
  • Shmuel Malkin
    • 3
  • Jonathan B. Marder
    • 1
    Email author
  • Victor I. Raskin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural BotanyThe Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Faculty of AgricultureRehovotIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Plant PhysiologyUniversity of Horticulture and Food IndustryBudapestHungary
  3. 3.Department of Biological ChemistryThe Weizmann Institute of ScienceRehovotIsrael

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