Formation of the photosynthetic apparatus during greening of cadmium- poisoned barley leaves

Gábor Horváth, Magdolna Droppa, Ágnes Oravecz, Victor I. Raskin, Jonathan B. Marder

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The effect of cadmium on the formation of the photosynthetic apparatus of greening barley (Hordeum vulgare L. cv. Triangel) leaves has been investigated. Cadmium treatment of dark-grown leaves strongly reduced the extent of chlorophyll accumulation during greening. Low-temperature fluorescence emission showed, however, that neither the synthesis nor photoconversion of protochlorophyllide was inhibited, although a blue shift of the main fluorescence emission from 685 to 668 mm was found. Chlorophyll fluorescence lifetime was followed by measuring the phase-shift angle of modulated emission. Whereas this parameter normally decreases rapidly during greening, this change proceeded noticeably slower with increasing severity according to cadmium concentration. Cadmium also decreased the variable part of fluorescence induction. These results suggest that the cadmium in greening leaves, rather than interfering with chlorophyll biosynthesis, acts mainly by disturbing the integration of chlorophyll molecules into the stable complexes required for normal functional photosynthetic activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-243
Number of pages6
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 1996



  • Chlorohyll formation
  • Chloroplast
  • Environmental stress
  • Etioplast
  • Hordeum
  • Photosystem II

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Plant Science

Cite this

Horváth, G., Droppa, M., Oravecz, Á., Raskin, V. I., & Marder, J. B. (1996). Formation of the photosynthetic apparatus during greening of cadmium- poisoned barley leaves. Planta, 199(2), 238-243.