The chloroplast ultrastructure, plastid pigments, and potential photosynthesis of leaf mesophyll cells were examined during the vegetative season of two spring ephemers Scilla sibirica Haw. and Chionodoxa luciliae Boiss. The development of chloroplasts was shown to precede the appearance of photosynthesis. The earliest stage of leaf growth was marked by the synthesis of carotenoids that play a structural and organizational role in the formation of chloroplast grana and protect the photosynthetic apparatus from photodynamic destruction under high insolation and low temperature conditions. Chlorophyll synthesis was closely correlated with the dynamics of potential photosynthesis. All these structural and functional features of mesophyll cells reflect the evolutionary strategies of adaptation in spring ephemers, which enable these plants to complete their short life cycle in the environment combining low temperature and high insolation.
Russian Journal of Plant Physiology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 13, 2004
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