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Characterization of the terminal stages of chlorophyll (ide) synthesis in etioplast membrane preparations.

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1. Chlorophyll (ide) formation from protochlorophyll (ide) that is normally inactive was demonstrated in etioplast membranes isolated from maize and barlley plants, the process being dependent on intermittent illumination and the addition of NADPH. 2. The addition of NADPH to the membranes was shown to result in the conversion of inactive protochlorophyll (ide) absorbing at about 630 nm into a form(s) with light-absorption maxima at about 640 and 652 nm, both of which disappear when chlorophyll (ide) is formed on illumination. 3. The temperature-dependence of the activation process and its response to a variety of reagents were examined. From these, the conclusion is drawn that -SH groups are involved in the activation but in the active complex these are unavailable for reaction with -SH reagents. 4. Evidence is presented for the occurrence of glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase activity within etioplasts and the suggestion is made that the oxidative pentose phosphate pathway can provide the NADPH required for chlorophyll biosynthesis during the early stages of greening.


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