Leaf colour in autumn -Reply

John E. Silvius SILVIUSJ at CEDARNET.CEDARVILLE.EDU
Tue Oct 22 10:32:20 EST 1996


>>> Sam Beale  writes:
It is neither for recycling the magnesium (which is plentiful in
virtually
all soils) nor for the trivial amount of nitrogen in chlorophyll that
the
pigment is degraded in the Fall.  Rather, chlorophyll is degraded so
that
its potentially interfering photochemical activities are eliminated
during
the physiologically important degradation of proteins and lipids in
leaf
cells and the translocation of their breakdown products for storage.

As a student of chlorophyll biosynthesis, it pains me to see all this
beautiful green stuff get degraded in the Fall.  But of course, in
the
Spring, I get renewed by all the chlorophyll biosynthsis going on in
the
New England woods.
----------------------------
Thanks for this explanation which is rather new, to me at least.  Can
you cite some research that supports this claim?  I would like to
read more.

John E. Silvius
Professor of Biology
Cedarville College
Cedarville, OH  45314

Phone 513-766-7948
silviusj at cedarville.edu



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