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Separation Of Chlorophyll Degradation From Other Senescence Processes In Leaves Of A Mutant Genotype Of Meadow Fescue (Festuca Pratensis L.).

H. Thomas, J. Stoddart
Published 1975 · Biology, Medicine

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Chlorophyll levels in l-cm sections of the youngest fully expanded leaves of normal (Y) Festuca pratensis L. declined almost to zero over a period of 6 days after excision. Chlorophyll in a mutant genotype (NY) remained near the initial level for the whole of this period. Abscisic acid promoted pigment loss in Y but had no significant effect on chlorophyll in NY. Kinetin retarded pigment loss in Y but was ineffective in NY. Other biochemical changes associated with leaf senescence-reduction in protein content and the appearance of novel isoenzymes of alpha-naphthyl acetate esterases-occurred in both genotypes. Abscisic acid accelerated protein breakdown, whereas kinetin inhibited the loss of protein in both genotypes. The mutation thus appears to be expressed as a highly specific lesion in pigment metabolism. We concluded that pigment breakdown, which is widely used as an index of leaf senescence, may not be an inevitable part of the aging process.
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