Adaptive reactions of the pigment system in assimilating shoots of evergreen dwarf shrub Ephedra monosperma J.G. Gmel. ex C.A. Mey. were studied under natural conditions of Central Yakutia. Seasonal changes in the content and ratio of green and yellow pigments were revealed; their relation to the stage of plant development and formation of cold tolerance was shown. The decrease in chlorophyll content started in September when the natural photoperiod became shorter and the air temperature lower; the chlorophyll concentration in winter was 30% lower than in summer. The content of β-carotene decreased twofold. The xanthophyll cycle pigments increased in content and deepoxidation level by a factor of 1.7 and 3.6, respectively. In peripheral cells of assimilating parenchyma, accumulation of a secondary carotenoid, rhodoxanthin was noted. In the period of active plant growth (from June to August), rhodoxanthin was absent, while its concentration in shoots in winter was 75 μg/g dry wt. It is concluded that changes in the pigment pool reflect structural and functional reorganization of photosynthetic machinery and are an indispensable part of the intricate process of plant hardening. Activation of energy-dissipating and antioxidant pigment systems, together with accumulation of the light-screening secondary carotenoid rhodoxanthin, promote the retention of photosynthetic apparatus and the survival of Ephedra monosperma plants under extreme conditions of cryolithozone of Yakutia.
Russian Journal of Plant Physiology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 7, 2014
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