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Cryptic chlorophyll breakdown in non-senescent green Arabidopsis thaliana leaves


Süssenbacher, Iris; Menghini, Damian; Scherzer, Gerhard; Salinger, Kathrin; Erhart, Theresia; Moser, Simone; Vergeiner, Clemens; Hörtensteiner, Stefan; Kräutler, Bernhard (2019). Cryptic chlorophyll breakdown in non-senescent green Arabidopsis thaliana leaves. Photosynthesis Research, 142(1):69-85.

Abstract

Chlorophyll (Chl) breakdown is a diagnostic visual process of leaf senescence, which furnishes phyllobilins (PBs) by the PAO/phyllobilin pathway. As Chl breakdown disables photosynthesis, it appears to have no role in photoactive green leaves. Here, colorless PBs were detected in green, non-senescent leaves of Arabidopsis thaliana. The PBs from the green leaves had structures entirely consistent with the PAO/phyllobilin pathway and the mutation of a single Chl catabolic enzyme completely abolished PBs with the particular modification. Hence, the PAO/phyllobilin pathway was active in the absence of visible senescence and expression of genes encoding Chl catabolic enzymes was observed in green Arabidopsis leaves. PBs accumulated to only sub-% amounts compared to the Chls present in the green leaves, excluding a substantial contribution of Chl breakdown from rapid Chl turnover associated with photosystem II repair. Indeed, Chl turnover was shown to involve a Chl a dephytylation and Chl a reconstitution cycle. However, non-recyclable pheophytin a is also liberated in the course of photosystem II repair, and is proposed here to be scavenged and degraded to the observed PBs. Hence, a cryptic form of the established pathway of Chl breakdown is indicated to play a constitutive role in photoactive leaves.

Abstract

Chlorophyll (Chl) breakdown is a diagnostic visual process of leaf senescence, which furnishes phyllobilins (PBs) by the PAO/phyllobilin pathway. As Chl breakdown disables photosynthesis, it appears to have no role in photoactive green leaves. Here, colorless PBs were detected in green, non-senescent leaves of Arabidopsis thaliana. The PBs from the green leaves had structures entirely consistent with the PAO/phyllobilin pathway and the mutation of a single Chl catabolic enzyme completely abolished PBs with the particular modification. Hence, the PAO/phyllobilin pathway was active in the absence of visible senescence and expression of genes encoding Chl catabolic enzymes was observed in green Arabidopsis leaves. PBs accumulated to only sub-% amounts compared to the Chls present in the green leaves, excluding a substantial contribution of Chl breakdown from rapid Chl turnover associated with photosystem II repair. Indeed, Chl turnover was shown to involve a Chl a dephytylation and Chl a reconstitution cycle. However, non-recyclable pheophytin a is also liberated in the course of photosystem II repair, and is proposed here to be scavenged and degraded to the observed PBs. Hence, a cryptic form of the established pathway of Chl breakdown is indicated to play a constitutive role in photoactive leaves.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
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:October 2019
Deposited On:07 Feb 2020 12:57
Last Modified:07 Feb 2020 12:57
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0166-8595
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s11120-019-00649-2
PubMed ID:31172355

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