We studied seasonal changes in the content and ratio between photosynthetic pigments in one-yearold needles of Scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) growing in Central Yakutia. Maximum accumulation of chlorophylls in developed young needles occurred in July when light and temperature conditions were favorable. In this period, the needles were notable for a relatively high level of β-carotene and neoxanthin and a reduced content of lutein and the pigments of violaxanthin cycle (VXC). In the course of autumn hardening, the content of chlorophylls decreased two times. Total content of carotenoids remained the same, but pigment composition considerably changed when plants progressed from a vegetating to frost-resistant state. We revealed time and temperature ranges of variation for individual carotenoids. In the beginning of hardening at reduced and low abovezero temperatures, the content of β-carotene in the needles decreased, the pigment-protein complexes (PPC) became enriched in lutein, the pigment pool of VXC gradually increased, and the content of neoxanthin transiently rose. When average daily air temperature further decreased to near- zero values, the content of zeaxanthin sharply rose. In winter, high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin were maintained. Main changes in pigment complex of the needles of P. sylvestris were completed before the coming of steady below-zero temperatures. The obtained data suggested that, upon seasonal decrease in temperature in early stages of hardening, a decrease in the level of chlorophyll promotes a reduction in the quantity of absorbed radiant energy. Apparently, this is accompanied by activation of the role of lutein and neoxanthin that perform specific photoprotective functions in antenna PPC associated with a gradual decrease in plants’ ability to quench singlet energy of excited chlorophyll. Accumulation of zeaxanthin as a result of inhibition of back reaction of epoxidation at near-zero temperatures creates necessary prerequisites for turning on the mechanisms of steady dissipation of absorbed light energy, which do not depend on transmembrane proton gradient of thylakoids. At the same time, zeaxanthin can perform antioxidant functions both in PPC and in the lipid phase of thylakoid membranes. The obtained data point to an adaptive nature of the observed reactions and a specific role of individual pigments in structural and functional reorganization of photosynthetic machinery in the course of development of frost-resistance in the needles.
Russian Journal of Plant Physiology – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 24, 2016
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