J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 1989, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (12): -.

• Research Articles •    

Changes of Freeze-Fracture Ultrastructure and Light Harvesting Chlorophyll Protein Complex in Thylakoid Membranes During Ontogeny of Maize

Zuo Bao-yu, Tang Chong-qin, Jiang Gui-zhen and Kuang Ting-yun   

Abstract: Freeze-fracture electron microscopy enables us to observe and count the freeze-fracture particles which correspond to the different functional components of thylakoid membranes. The present paper reports the observation on freeze-fracture ultrastructure of thylakoid membranes and the analysis of proteins by the SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis within the membranes from differenly located leaves of maize. In the past, we found that the leaies subtending the ear of maize had a much higher chlorophyll content, a lower chlorophyll a/b ratio and more staking thylakoid membranes and provided the photosynthetic energy used to fill the maize seeds more than that of other leaves. Recently, we have further found that the particle densities of all four faces of thylakoid membranes from the ear leaf were the highest, than those, successively, from the terminal leaf, and the fifth leaf (from the base of the plant). The particle densities on all four fracture faces of thylakoid membranes isolated from the ear leaves of maize were significantly higher than those from the terminal leaves with the increases of 19% in EFs, 28% in PFs and 20% in PFu. Increases in particle densities on the PFs, EFs and PFu faces result in increased densities of LHCP II, PSⅡ and PSI reactions centres, respectively. It is significant that this supramolecular architecture of the ear leaves is consistent with our analytical results of the SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis within the membranes (a detailed report in another paper). The contents of major polypeptides of 21 kD (LHCP Ⅰ) and 25 kD (LHCP Ⅱ) in thylakoid membranes from the ear leaves were more than those from the terminal leaves. The characteristics of both supramolecular architecture and polypeptide components are in favour of absorbing, transferring, distributing and conversing light energy in the course of photosynthesis of the ear leaves in maize.

Key words: Maize, Ear leaf, Thylakoid membrane, Freeze-Fracture supramolecular architecture, Light harvesting chlorophyll a/b protein complex

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