Development of Cell-Free Systems

  • Constantin A. Rebeiz


Originally, work on the biosynthesis of protochlorophyll(ide) [Pchl(ide)] and chlorophyll (Chl) in organello, started in 1967 in my laboratory at the National Research Institute in Tel-el-Amara, Lebanon (see  Chap. 2) (Rebeiz 1967, 1968). At the time spectrophotometric instrumentation was used. Since I was aware that excised etiolated cucumber cotyledons greened very rapidly, within hours, in the light, I conjectured that if greening cotyledons were homogenized, I should be able to observe Pchl(ide) and Chl formation in the homogenate for a few minutes before the system fell apart. The first evidence of Chl biosynthesis in organello was observed in 1967 (Rebeiz 1967). However I soon realized that spectrophotometric techniques were not sensitive enough to observe consistent and reliable Pchl(ide) and Chl biosynthesis in organello. I therefore shifted to the use of 14C-δ-aminolevulinic acid (14C-ALA) as a precursor of 14C-Chl. At the time ALA was known as a tetrapyrrole precursor (Granick 1961). We observed the first incorporation of 14C-ALA into 14C-Chl in my laboratory in 1969. The work was perfected in California at UC Davis in 196–1970 when I joined Paul’s Castelfranco Laboratory (Rebeiz and Castelfranco 1971a, b).


Dark Incubation Biosynthetic Activity Crude Homogenate Cucumber Cotyledon Barley Chloroplast 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Constantin A. Rebeiz
    • 1
  1. 1.Rebeiz Foundation for Basic ResearchChampaignUSA

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