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Greening of Etiolated Bean Leaves in Far Red Light

  • J. De Greef
  • W. L. Butler
  • T. F. Roth
Publication Date
Apr 01, 1971


Eight-day-old dark-grown bean leaves were greened by prolonged irradiation with far red light. Growth, chlorophyll content, oxygen-evolving capacity, photophosphorylation capacity, chloroplast structure (by electron microscopy), and in vivo forms of chlorophyll (by low temperature absorption and derivative spectroscopy on intact leaves) were followed during the greening process. Chlorophyll a accumulated slowly but continuously during the 7 days of the experiment (each day consisted of 12 hours of far red light and 12 hours of darkness). Chlorophyll b was not detected until the 5th day. The capacity for oxygen evolution and photophosphorylation began at about the 2nd day. Electron microscopy showed little formation of grana during the 7 days but rather unfused stacks of primary thylakoids. The thylakoids would fuse to give grana if the leaves were placed subsequently in white light. The low temperature spectroscopy of intact leaves showed that the chlorophyll a was differentiated into three forms with absorption maxima near 670, 677, and 683 nanometers at −196 C during the first few hours and that these forms accumulated throughout the greening process. Small amounts of two longer wavelength forms with maxima near 690 and 698 nanometers appeared at about the same time as photosynthetic activity.

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