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Biochemistry And Cell Ultrastructure Changes During Senescence Of Beta Vulgaris L. Leaf

Alla Romanova, Galina A. Semenova, A. R. Ignat’ev, Natalia Novichkova, Irina R. Fomina
Published 2015 · Biology, Medicine

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The comparative study of biochemical and ultrastructure features in senescing sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.) leaves was carried out. One group of plants was grown under normal conditions in washed river sand and poured in turn with nitrate-containing mineral solution or water (N plants). Another group of plants, after 1 month of normal growth, was further grown with nitrate omitted in the nutritive solution (defN plants). The starting point of normal leaf senescence in N plants was identified by the maximal content of soluble protein. Soluble carbohydrate pools were statistically constant in senescing N plants, whereas glucose pools varied noticeably. A decrease in the contents of soluble protein and chlorophyll (a + b) in the course of senescing was typical for N plant leaves. The cell membrane in N plant leaves remained mostly intact; the central vacuoles in the leaf cells were large, and their membranes remained intact. The chloroplasts and mitochondria in senescing N plant leaves became swollen. The vesicles that were present in the cytoplasm of N plant leaves were especially large in the oldest leaves. It was concluded that senescing of sugar beet leaves at sufficient nitrate nutrition occurs according to a “vacuolar” scenario. In the case of nitrate deficiency, the content of soluble carbohydrates in defN leaves first reached maximum and then decreased in older leaves; the protein and chlorophyll (a + b) contents were totally lower than those in normal leaves and continuously decreased during the experiments. Chloroplasts in mesophyll cells of defN plant leaves became more rounded; starch grains in chloroplasts degraded and the number and size of lipid globules increased. The multitude of membrane impairments and lots of large vesicles-“crystals” appeared during the experiment. The results showed the controlling action of nitrogen nutrition in the senescing of sugar beet leaves.
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