Functional Plant Biology Functional Plant Biology Society
Plant function and evolutionary biology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Photochemical activity changes accompanying the embryogenesis of pea (Pisum sativum) with yellow and green cotyledons

Galina Smolikova A E , Vladimir Kreslavski B C , Olga Shiroglazova A , Tatiana Bilova A , Elena Sharova A , Andrej Frolov D and Sergei Medvedev A E
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Department of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, Saint-Petersburg State University, 7/9 Universitetskaya nab., St. Petersburg 199034, Russia.

B Institute of Plant Physiology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Botanicheskaya Street 35, Moscow 127276, Russia.

C Institute of Basic Biological Problems, Russian Academy of Sciences, Institutskaya Street 2, Pushchino, Moscow Region 142290, Russia.

D Department of Bioorganic Chemistry, Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry, Weinberg 3, Halle (Saale) 06120, Germany.

E Corresponding authors. Emails: g.smolikova@spbu.ru; s.medvedev@spbu.ru

This paper originates from a presentation at the Fourth International Symposium on Plant Signaling and Behavior, Komarov Botanical Institute RAS/Russian Science Foundation, Saint Petersburg, Russia, 1923 June 2016.

Functional Plant Biology - https://doi.org/10.1071/FP16379
Submitted: 9 November 2016  Accepted: 18 February 2017   Published online: 29 March 2017

Abstract

The pea seeds are photosynthetically active until the end of the maturation phase, when the embryonic chlorophylls degrade. However, in some cultivars, the underlying mechanisms are compromised, and the mature seeds preserve green colour. The residual chlorophylls can enhance oxidative degradation of reserve biomolecules, and affect thereby the quality, shelf life and nutritive value of seeds. Despite this, the formation, degradation, and physical properties of the seed chlorophylls are still not completely characterised. So here we address the dynamics of seed photochemical activity in the yellow- and green-seeded pea cultivars by the pulse amplitude modulation (PAM) fluorometric analysis. The experiments revealed the maximal photochemical activity at the early- and mid-cotyledon stages. Thereby, the active centres of PSII were saturated at the light intensity of 15–20 µmol photons m–2 s–1. Despite of their shielding from the light by the pod wall and seed coat, photochemical reactions can be registered in the seeds with green embryo. Importantly, even at the low light intensities, the photochemical activity in the coats and cotyledons could be detected. The fast transients of the chlorophyll a fluorescence revealed a higher photochemical activity in the coat of yellow-seeded cultivars in comparison to those with the green-seeded ones. However, it declined rapidly in all seeds at the late cotyledon stage, and was accompanied with the decrease of the seed water content. Thus, the termination of photosynthetic activity in seeds is triggered by their dehydration.

Additional keywords: chlorophyll, chlorophyll a fluorescence, embryogenesis, photosynthesis, seed development.


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