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

Chlorophyll and Carotenoid Composition in Leaves of Euonymus kiautschovicus Acclimated to Different Degrees of Light Stress in the Field

B Demmig-Adams and WW Iii Adams

Australian Journal of Plant Physiology 23(5) 649 - 659
Published: 1996


The response of carotenoid and chlorophyll composition to the actual degree of excess light experienced in the natural environment was examined in differently angled leaves of the sclerophyllous shrub Euonymus kiautschovicus. Increasing light stress caused a greater conversion of the xanthophyll cycle to zeaxanthin and antheraxanthin as well as thermal dissipation of a greater fraction of the absorbed light. Increasing light stress was also associated with increasing chlorophyll alb ratios and increases in the pool size of the xanthophyll cycle. The response of all other carotenoids to light stress was less pronounced than that of the xanthophyll cycle pool. While the ratio of β-carotene or lutein to chlorophyll increased with increasing light stress, the ratio of neoxanthin to chlorophyll remained constant. Only the (taxonomically restricted) carotenoids lactucaxanthin and ±-carotene decreased relative to chlorophyll with increasing light stress. These findings are consistent with an increased emphasis on energy dissipation over light collection with increasing light stress, afforded presumably by a decreased ratio of major, peripheral (bulk chlorophyll-binding) to minor, proximal (xanthophyll cycle-rich) light-harvesting complexes of photosystem II. These responses to light stress within a single species could not be extrapolated to comparisons among different groups of species.

© CSIRO 1996

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