The Influence Of Light On Chloroplast Development And Movement

3338 words - 13 pages

The Influence of Light on Chloroplast Development and Movement

Light is an important regulator of both chloroplast development and
chloroplast movement in plants. In terms of chloroplast development,
light regulates the biogenesis of the photosynthetic apparatus in
chloroplasts and the adaptation of that apparatus to the environment
so as to maximise photosynthesis. In terms of chloroplast movement,
weak light induces chloroplasts to undergo accumulation movement,
while strong light induces avoidance movement. In this way,
chloroplasts are able to move within cells to positions where they can
obtain higher efficiency of photosynthesis while avoiding
photo-damage. In this essay, I will review the role that light plays
in the regulation of both chloroplast development and chloroplast
movement.

(1) Chloroplast development

(a) The development of chloroplasts from proplastids is regulated by
light

Meristematic cells in the shoot and root apices and leaf primordia
contain low numbers of small, undifferentiated proplastids. The
ultrastructure of these non-green proplastids is simple and consists
of the envelope, often with some invaginations from the inner
membrane, and a stroma with some ribosomes, nucleoids, plastoglobuli,
sometimes some inner membranes, and a limited amount of prokaryotic
type DNA [1].

In those tissues and organs destined to become green and
photosynthesising in light, the proplastids develop into etioplasts in
darkness. Etioplasts are the end product of a differential route in
dark-grown angiosperm seedlings that begins with the proplastid stage.
A characteristic feature of the etioplast is the prolamellar body
(PLB), which consists of a cubic lattice of interconnected membraneous
tubule network derived from the inner plastid envelope [1]. Only a few
thylakoid membranes, prothylakoids (PT) extending from the PLB, are
usually found.

When dark-grown etiolated seedlings are exposed to light, dramatic
structural and functional changes take place. The differentiation of
etioplast into chloroplast is a multistep process, involving the
biosynthesis of pigments, nucleic acids, proteins, and lipids
stimulated mainly by light [1].

The first detectable light-dependent step towards the formation of
chloroplast is the phototransformation of Pchlide to Chlide, which is
a precursor to the pigment chlorophyll (Chl) [1]. The reaction is
catalysed by the enzyme NADP-protochlorophyllide oxidoreductase (PCR).
Unlike angiosperms, algae, ferns, mosses, and the cotyledons of most
gymnosperms are able to synthesise chlorophyll in the absence of light
[2]. Pchilide is the initial receptor of light, and the products of
photoconversion could also be a signal for the beginning of the
greening process. After the light is triggered, there is a short lag
period...

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