Anthocyanins function as a light attenuator to compensate for insufficient photoprotection mediated by nonphotochemical quenching in young leaves of Acmena acuminatissima in winter

H. Zhu, T. J. Zhang, J. Zheng, X. D. Huang, Z. C. Yu, C. L. Peng*, W. S. Chow

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    58 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Anthocyanins and nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ) are two important tools that provide photoprotection in plant leaves. In order to understand how plants use these tools for acclimation to changing seasonal conditions, we investigated pigments, antioxidative capacity, and photosynthesis in leaves of an evergreen tree (Acmena acuminatissima) in two contrasting seasons. Young leaves of A. acuminatissima appeared in distinct colors, being light green in summer and red in winter due to the presence of anthocyanins. In the winter young leaves, anthocyanins contributed less than 2% to the antioxidant pool. In the summer, young leaves had higher NPQ than that of mature leaves, but in the winter, they did not derive any NPQ-related advantage over mature leaves. These results suggest that the accumulation of anthocyanins in young leaves in the winter may compensate for the insufficient photoprotection afforded by NPQ and that anthocyanins function as a light attenuator to protect the photochemical apparatus against excess light.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)445-454
    Number of pages10
    JournalPhotosynthetica
    Volume56
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018

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