Depending on the presence or absence of chlorophylls in the embryo, angiosperms are divided into chloroembryophytes and leucoembryophytes. Synthesis of chlorophylls (Chl) in the chloroembryos starts in the globular stage, rises as the embryo is formed, and stops in the late phase of seed maturation. The seeds also contain carotenoids that participate in photosynthesis and act as ABA precursors. The chloroembryos contain photochemically active chloroplasts that contain all the main photosynthetic complexes at a necessary stoichiometric ratio. Dark reactions of photosynthesis in developing seeds are notable for the fact that the main source of carbon therein is sucrose arriving from the maternal plant. Therefore, function of chloroplasts mainly aims at production of NADPH and ATP that are spent on conversion of sucrose into acetyl-CoA and, subsequently, to fatty acids. The CO2 fixation system involving Rubisco and/or phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase operates in the chloroembryos. In the course of photosynthesis, oxygen is released, which prevents hypoxia and maintains seed respiration. In late stages of ripening, the seeds enter the state of dormancy, which is associated with dehydration, disintegration of photosynthetic apparatus, Chl breakdown, and transformation of chloroplasts into plastids filled with reserve nutrient substances. At the same time, very often Chl are not destroyed completely and their residues are present in mature seeds of numerous plant species.
Russian Journal of Plant Physiology – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 16, 2016
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