The Ultrastructure of Chloroplasts, Content of Photosynthetic Pigments, and Photochemical Activity of Maize (Zea mays L.) as Influenced by Different Concentrations of the Herbicide Amitrole

Pechová, Renáta; Kutík, J.; Holá, D.; Kočová, M.; Haisel, Daniel; Vičánková, Anna
PHOTOSYNTHETICA 41 [1]: 127-136, 2003

Keywords: 3-amino-1,2,4-triazole; carotenoids; chloroplasts
Abstract: The effect of three different concentrations of amitrole (AM), a bleaching herbicide affecting carotenogenesis, on chloroplast ultrastructure, photosynthetic pigment contents, and photochemical activity was studied in two maize genotypes differing in photosynthetic characteristics. The content of photosynthetic pigments in leaves of plants treated with low AM concentration was similar to control plants and no damaging effect of the herbicide on the ultrastructure of either mesophyll (MC) or bundle-sheath (BSC) cell chloroplasts was observed. Higher (60 and 120 M) concentrations of AM caused a significant decrease in the content of carotenoids (especially xanthophylls), which was followed by photooxidative destruction of chlorophylls and some alterations of chloroplast ultrastructure. MC chloroplasts appeared more sensitive to the damaging effect of AM compared to BSC chloroplasts. A significant decrease in the amount of both granal and intergranal thylakoids in MC chloroplasts was observed with the increasing concentration of AM. As regards BSC chloroplasts, rapid decrease in the volume density of starch inclusions was found in plants treated with higher concentrations of AM. When 120 M AM was used, both MC and BSC chloroplasts contained just a few thylakoid membranes that were strongly altered. The changes in the ultrastructure of MC chloroplasts were accompanied by the changes in their photochemical activity. The formation of chloroplast protrusions after treatment of plants with AM as well as in control plants was also observed.
IEB authors: Daniel Haisel