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Mechanism and significance of chlorophyll breakdown


Christ, Bastien; Hörtensteiner, Stefan (2014). Mechanism and significance of chlorophyll breakdown. Journal of Plant Growth Regulation, 33(1):4-20.

Abstract

Chlorophyll breakdown is the most obvious sign of leaf senescence and fruit ripening. A multistep pathway has been elucidated in recent years that can be divided into two major parts. In the first phase, which commonly is active in higher plants, chlorophyll is converted via several photoreactive intermediates to a primary colorless breakdown product within the chloroplast. The second part of chlorophyll breakdown takes place in the cytosol and the vacuole. During this phase, the primary colorless intermediate is modified in largely species-specific reactions to a number of similar, yet structurally different, linear tetrapyrrolic products that finally are stored within the vacuole of senescing cells. To date, most of the biochemical reactions of the first phase of chlorophyll breakdown have been elucidated and genes have been identified. By contrast, mechanisms of catabolite transport and modification during the second phase are largely unknown. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the biochemical reactions involved in chlorophyll breakdown, with a special focus on the second-phase reactions and the fate of by-products that are released from chlorophyll during its breakdown.

Abstract

Chlorophyll breakdown is the most obvious sign of leaf senescence and fruit ripening. A multistep pathway has been elucidated in recent years that can be divided into two major parts. In the first phase, which commonly is active in higher plants, chlorophyll is converted via several photoreactive intermediates to a primary colorless breakdown product within the chloroplast. The second part of chlorophyll breakdown takes place in the cytosol and the vacuole. During this phase, the primary colorless intermediate is modified in largely species-specific reactions to a number of similar, yet structurally different, linear tetrapyrrolic products that finally are stored within the vacuole of senescing cells. To date, most of the biochemical reactions of the first phase of chlorophyll breakdown have been elucidated and genes have been identified. By contrast, mechanisms of catabolite transport and modification during the second phase are largely unknown. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the biochemical reactions involved in chlorophyll breakdown, with a special focus on the second-phase reactions and the fate of by-products that are released from chlorophyll during its breakdown.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Plant and Microbial Biology
07 Faculty of Science > Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:580 Plants (Botany)
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:04 Feb 2015 10:22
Last Modified:27 Apr 2017 22:42
Publisher:Springer New York LLC
ISSN:0721-7595
Additional Information:The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00344-013-9392-y
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00344-013-9392-y

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