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Chloroplastic responses of ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) seedlings to ozone exposure

Chloroplastic responses of ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) seedlings to ozone exposure

Environment International 29(2-3): 407-413

Integrity of chloroplast membranes is essential to photosynthesis. Loss of thylakoid membrane integrity has been proposed as a consequence of ozone (O(3)) exposure and therefore may be a mechanistic basis for decreased photosynthetic rates commonly associated with ozone exposure. To investigate this hypothesis, Pinus ponderosa seedlings were exposed to ambient air or ozone concentrations maintained at 0.15 or 0.30 microliter l(-1) for 10 h day(-1) for 51 days during their second growing season. Over the course of the study, foliage samples were periodically collected for thylakoid membrane, chlorophyll and protein analyses. Additionally, gas-exchange measurements were made in conjunction with foliage sampling to verify that observed chloroplastic responses were associated with ozone-induced changes in photosynthesis. Needles exposed to elevated ozone exhibited decreases in chlorophyll a and b content. The decreases were dependent on the duration and intensity of ozone exposure. When based on equal amounts of chlorophyll, ozone-exposed sample tissue exhibited an increase in total protein. When based on equal amounts of protein, ozone-exposed samples exhibited an increase in 37 kDa proteins, possibly consisting of breakdown products, and a possible decrease in 68 kDa proteins, Rubisco small subunit. There was also a change in the ratio of Photosystem I protein complexes CPI and CPII that may have contributed to decreased photosynthesis. Net photosynthetic rates were decreased in the high ozone treatment suggesting that observed structural and biochemical changes in the chloroplast were associated with alterations of the photosynthetic process.

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Accession: 003678463

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PMID: 12676234

DOI: 10.1016/s0160-4120(02)00177-0

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