Chloroplast development and the synthesis of chlorophyll and protochlorophyllide in Zostera transferred to darkness

H. Adamson*, N. Packer, J. Gregory

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Intact plants and isolated leaves of Zostera capricornii Martens ex Aschers were transferred from daylight to darkness. Substantial amounts of chloropyll a and b continued to accumulate in immature and mature tissue in the same ratio as in the light and were incorporated into chlorophyll-protein complexes in the thylakoids. A small amount of protochlorophyllide also accumulated in immature tissue in the dark. Proplastids and immature chloroplasts continued to develop into mature chloroplasts in the dark in the normal manner but prolamellar bodies, which are a conspicuous feature of immature chloroplasts, took longer to disperse than in the light. Protochlorophyllide accumulation and prolamellar-body formation were not correlated. The results indicate that Zostera has a genetic capacity for dark chlorophyll synthesis which is expressed in immature and mature leaf tissue and enables this plant to continue synthesising chlorophyll and assembling chloroplasts at night.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)469-476
Number of pages8
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1985


  • chlorophyll synthesis
  • chloroplast development
  • light (chloroplast development without-)
  • zostera


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