Acta Biologica Hungarica

, Volume 59, Issue 2, pp 217–232 | Cite as

Efficiency of the Photosynthetic Apparatus in Developing Needles of Norway Spruce (Picea abies L. Karst.)

  • H. LepedušEmail author
  • H. Fulgosi
  • Mirta Benšić
  • Vera Cesar


The photosynthetic performance of developing spruce (Picea abies L. Karst.) needles was investigated. As revealed by previous reports, the biosynthesis of chlorophylls and carotenoids was not following the characteristic chloroplast ultrastructure building up during needle elongation process. The aim of our study was to investigate photosynthetic capability (evaluated by oxygen evolution and chlorophyll a fluorescence kinetics measurements), the dynamics of chloroplast pigments biosynthesis and the expression of major photosynthetic proteins as well as to find out possible correlation between components of issue. Low amounts of chlorophylls and carotenoids, LHC II and Rubisco LSU were detected in the embryonic shoot of vegetative buds. Although PS II was functional, oxygen production was not sufficient to compensate for respiration in the same developmental stage. The light compensation point of respiration was successively lowered during the needle elongation. Nevertheless the significant increase in photosynthetic pigments as well as the high level of expression of LHC II and Rubisco LSU proteins was observed in the later stages of needle development. Our results suggest that, besides light, some other environmental factors could be critical for producing fully functional chloroplasts in rapidly growing young needles.


Picea abies chloroplast biogenesis photosynthesis needle development 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.



The authors are grateful to the Federation of European Biochemical Societies (FEBS) for supporting this research. We are thanking to Prof. Dr. Karin Krupinska (University of Kiel, Germany) for enabling Hrvoje Lepeduš to do the experimental work in the Laboratory of Cell Biology (Institute of Botany, University of Kiel). Hrvoje Lepeduš is also thanking to Dr. Mark Schlensog for hosting and supporting the chlorophyll fluorescence and oxygen-production measurements.


  1. 1.
    Akoyunoglou, G., Argyroudi-Akoyunoglou, J. (1986) Post-translational regulation of chloroplast differentiation. In: Akoyunoglou, G., Senger, H. (eds) Regulation of Chloroplast Differentiation. Proc. Int. Meeting Regulation of Chloroplast Differentiation, Rhodes, Greece, pp. 571–582.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Barber, J., Nield, J., Morris, E. P., Zheleva, D., Hankamer, B. (1997) The structure, function and dynamics of photosystem two. Physiol. Plant. 100, 817–827.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bartlett, D. W., Dodge, A. D. (1980) Chlorophyll formation and the development of photosynthesis in dark grown seedlings of Picea abies. Physiol. Plant. 49, 473–476.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bilkova, J., Albrechtova, J., Opatrna, J. (1999) Histochemical detection and image analysis of nonspecific esterase activity and the amount of polyphenols during annual bud development in Norway spruce. J. Exp. Bot. 35, 1129–1138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Boekema, E. J., van Roon, H., van Breeman, J. F. L., Dekker, J. P. (1999) Supramolecular organisation of photosystem II and its light-harvesting antenna in partially solubilized photosystem II membranes. Eur. J. Biochem. 266, 444–452.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Boekema, E. J., van Breeman, J. F. L., van Roon, H., Dekker, J. P. (2000) Conformational changes in photosystem II supercomplexes upon removal of extrinsic subunits. Biochem. 39, 12907–12915.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bogdanović, M. (1973) Chlorophyll formation in the dark. I. Chlorophyll in pine seedlings. Physiol. Plant. 29, 17–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Cesar, V., Bornman, C. H. (1996) Anatomy of vegetative buds of Norway spruce (Picea abies) with special reference to their exchange from winter to spring. Nat. Croat. 5, 99–108.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Cesar, V., Lepeduŝ, H., Has-Schőn, E. (2001) Total soluble proteins amount in vegetative buds and needles of Norway spruce during the bursting time. Acta Bot. Hung. 43, 299–309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Demmig-Adams, B., Adams III, W. W. (1996) The role of the xanthophyll cycle carotenoids in the protection of photosynthesis. Trends Plant Sci. 1, 21–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Eastman, P. A. K., Camm, E. L. (1995) Regulation of photosynthesis in interior spruce during water stress: changes in gas exchange and chlorophyll fluorescence. Tree Physiol. 15, 229–235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Egger, B., Hampp, R. (1996) Activities of enzymes of starch metabolism in developing Norway spruce [Picea abies (L.) Karst] needles. Trees 11, 72–75.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Fischbach, R. J., Kossmann, B., Panten, H., Steinbrecher, R., Heller, W., Seidlitz, H. K., Sandermann, H., Hertkorn, N., Schnitzler, J. P. (1999) Seasonal accumulation of ultraviolet-B screening pigments in needles of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.). Plant, Cell and Environment 22, 27–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Forreiter, C., Apel, K. (1993) Light-independent and light-dependent protochlorophyllide-reducing activities and two distinct NADPH-protochlorophyllide oxidoreductase polypeptides in mountain pine (Pinus mugo). Planta 190, 536–545.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Fulgosi, H., Lepedus, H., Cesar, V., Ljubesic, N. (2005) Differential accumulation of preprotein translocon components during spruce (Picea abies L. Karst.) needle development. Biol. Chem. 386, 777–783.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Galliano, H., Heller, W., Sandermann, H. Jr. (1993) Ozone induction and purification of spruce cyn-namyl alcohol dehydrogenase. Phytochem. 32, 557–563.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Gordon, D. C., Percy, K. E., Riding, R. T. (1998) Effects of u.v.-B radiation on epicuticular wax production and chemical composition of four Picea species. New Phytol. 138, 441–449.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Hampp, R., Egger, B., Effenberger, S., Einig, W. (1994) Carbon allocation in developing spruce needles. Enzymes and intermediates of sucrose metabolism. Physiol. Plant. 90, 299–306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Hejnowicz, A., Obarska, E. (1995) Structure and development of vegetative buds, form the lower crown of Picea abies. Ann. Sci. For. 52, 433–447.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Krall, J. P., Edwards, G. E. (1992) Relationship between photosystem II activity and CO2 fixation in leaves. Physiol. Plant. 86, 180–187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Kraus, C. A., Spitteller, G. (1997) Phenolic compounds from ageing shoots of Picea abies. X. Naturforsch 52c, 308–312.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Kűhlbrandt, W. (1994) Structure and function of the plant light harvesting complex, LHC-II. Curr. Biol. 4, 519–528.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Jilani, A., Kar, S., Bose, S., Tripathy, B. C. (1996) Regulation of carotenoids content and chloroplast development by levulinic acid. Physiol. Plant. 96, 139–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Lepeduš, H., Cesar, V., Ljubešić, N. (2001) Chloroplast ultrastructure and chlorophyll levels in vegetative buds and needles of Norway spruce (Picea abies L. Karst.). Period. Biol. 103, 61–65.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Lepeduš, H., Cesar, V., Ljubešić, N., Has-Schon, E. (2003) Photo synthetic pigments, chloroplast distribution and fine structure in vegetative buds of two spruce species. Biologia 58, 867–873.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Lichtenthaler, H. K. (1987) Chlorophyll and carotenoids: pigments of photosythetic biomembranes. Methods Enzymol. 148, 350–382.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Lipavska, H., Svobodova, H., Albrechtova, J. (2000) Annual dynamics of the content of non-structural saccharides in the context of structural development of vegetative buds of Norway spruce. J. Plant Physiol. 157, 365–373.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Muraja Ljubičić, J., Wrischer, M., Ljubesic, N. (1998) Formation of the photo synthetic apparatus in plastids during greening of potato microtubers. Plant Physiol. Biochem. 36, 747–752.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Muramatsu, S., Kojima, K., Igasaki, T., Yoshitaka, A., Shinohara, K. (2001) Inhibition of the light-independent synthesis of chlorophyll in pine cotyledons at low temperature. Plant Cell Physiol. 42, 868–872.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Polle, A., Otter, T., Seifert, F. (1994) Apoplastic peroxidases and lignification in needles of Norway spruce (Picea abies L.). Plant Physiol. 106, 53–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Plumely, G., Schmidt, G. W. (1995) Light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b complexes: Interdependent pigment synthesis and protein assembly. Plant Cell 7, 689–704.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Schreiber, U., Bilger, W., Neubauer, C. (1994) Chlorophyll fluorescence as a nonintrusive indicator for rapid assessment of in vivo photosynthesis. Ecological Studies 100, 49–70.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Sieferman-Harms, D. (1987) The light-harvesting and protective functions of carotenoids in photo-syntetic membranes. Physiol. Plant. 69, 561–568.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Senser, M., Schotz, F., Beck, E. (1975) Seasonal changes in structure and function of spruce chloro-plasts. Planta (Berl.) 126, 1–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Slimestad, R., Hostettmann, K. (1996) Characterisation of phenolic constituents from juvenile and mature needles of Norway spruce by means of high performance liquid chromatography - mass spec-tormetry. Phytochem. Anal. 7, 42–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Tenberge, K. B. (1992) Ultrastructure and development of the outer epidermal wall of spruce (Picea abies) needles. Can. J. Bot. 70, 1467–1487.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Teramoto, H., Nakamori, A., Minagawa, J., Ono, T. A. (2002) Light-intensity-dependent expression of Lhc gene faimily encoding light-harvesting chlorophyll-a/b proteins of photosystem II in Chlamydomonas reihardtii. Plant Physiol. 130, 325–333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Yamamoto, H. Y., Bassi, R. (1996) Carotenoids: Localisation and function. In: Ort, D. R., Yocum, C. F. (eds) Oxygenic Photosynthesis: The Light Reactions. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, Boston, London, pp. 539–563.Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Webb, W. L., Newton, M., Starr, D. (1974) Carbon dioxide exchange of Alnus rubra: a mathematical model. Oecologia 17, 281–291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Wrischer, M., Ljubesic, N., Salopek, B. (1998) The role of carotenoids in the structural and functional stability of thylakoids in plastids of dark-grown spruce seedlings. J. Plant Physiol. 153, 46–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest 2008

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Lepeduš
    • 1
    Email author
  • H. Fulgosi
    • 2
  • Mirta Benšić
    • 3
  • Vera Cesar
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of J. J. StrossmayerOsijekCroatia
  2. 2.Department of Molecular BiologyRuđer Bošković InstituteZagrebCroatia
  3. 3.Department of MathematicsUniversity of J. J. StrossmayerOsijekCroatia

Personalised recommendations