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Artificially increased ascorbate content affects zeaxanthin formation but not thermal energy dissipation or degradation of antioxidants during cold-induced photooxidative stress in maize leaves

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Abstract.

Infiltrating detached maize (Zeamays L.) leaves with L-galactono-1,4-lactone (L-GAL) resulted in a 4-fold increase in the content of leaf ascorbate. Upon exposure to high irradiance (1000 μmol photons m−2 s−1) at 5 °C, L-GAL leaves de-epoxidized the xanthophyll-cycle pigments faster than the control leaves; the maximal ratio of de-epoxidized xanthophyll-cycle pigments to the whole xanthophyll-cycle pool was the same in both leaf types. The elevated ascorbate content, together with the faster violaxanthin de-epoxidation, did not affect the degree of photoinhibition and the kinetics of the recovery from photoinhibition, assayed by monitoring the maximum quantum efficiency of photosystem II primary photochemistry (Fv/Fm). Under the experimental conditions, the thermal energy dissipation seems to be zeaxanthin-independent since, in contrast to the de-epoxidation, the decrease in the efficiency of excitation-energy capture by open photosystem II reaction centers (Fv′/Fm′) during the high-irradiance treatment at low temperature showed the same kinetic in both leaf types. This was also observed for the recovery of the maximal fluorescence after stress. Furthermore, the elevated ascorbate content did not diminish the degradation of pigments or α-tocopherol when leaves were exposed for up to 24 h to high irradiance at low temperature. Moreover, a higher content of ascorbate appeared to increase the requirement for reduced glutathione.

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Received: 20 May 1999 / Accepted: 29 October 1999

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Leipner, J., Stamp, P. & Fracheboud, Y. Artificially increased ascorbate content affects zeaxanthin formation but not thermal energy dissipation or degradation of antioxidants during cold-induced photooxidative stress in maize leaves. Planta 210, 964–969 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1007/s004250050704

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  • Key words: Antioxidant – Chlorophyll a fluorescence –L-Galactono-1,4-lactone – Photooxidative stress – Xanthophyll cycle –Zea (light stress)