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Anthocyanins, the pigments responsible for spectacular displays of vermilion in the leaves of deciduous trees, have long been considered an extravagant waste of a plant's resources. Contemporary research, in contrast, has begun to show that the pigments can significantly influence the way a leaf responds to environmental stress. Anthocyanins have been(More)
Although plants rely on light to drive energy production via photosynthesis, excess light can be harmful. Plants have evolved photoprotective mechanisms to mitigate this threat, including thermal energy dissipation, the most common form of which involves de-epoxidized constituents of the xanthophyll cycle facilitating the conversion of excess excitation(More)
Red-stemmed plants are extremely common, yet the functions of cauline anthocyanins are largely unknown. The possibility that photoabatement by anthocyanins in the periderm reduces the propensity for photoinhibition in cortical chlorenchyma was tested for Cornus stolonifera. Anthocyanins were induced in green stems exposed to full sunlight. PSII quantum(More)
Carotenoids and anthocyanins are the predominant non-chlorophyll pigments in plants. However, certain families within the order Caryophyllales produce another class of pigments, the betalains, instead of anthocyanins. The occurrence of betalains and anthocyanins is mutually exclusive. Betalains are divided into two classes, the betaxanthins and betacyanins,(More)
any forests, like those spread throughout New England, have just changed color in a spectacular way, as they do each fall. The phenomenon is familiar as well as dramatic, yet why it should happen has been a long-standing enigma. When we were in school, the standard textbooks said that foliage changes color because the breakdown of green chlorophyll(More)
Black pigmented leaves are common among horticultural cultivars, yet are extremely rare across natural plant populations. We hypothesised that black pigmentation would disadvantage a plant by reducing photosynthesis and therefore shoot productivity, but that this trait might also confer protective benefits by shielding chloroplasts against photo-oxidative(More)
Plant betalain pigments are intriguing because they are restricted to the Caryophyllales and are mutually exclusive with the more common anthocyanins. However, betalain biosynthesis is poorly understood compared to that of anthocyanins. In this study, betalain production and betalain-related genes were characterized in Parakeelya mirabilis (Montiaceae).(More)
Boron (B) toxicity is an important agricultural problem in arid environments. Excess edaphic B compromises photosynthetic efficiency, limits growth and reduces crop yield. However, some purple-leafed cultivars of sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum) exhibit greater tolerance to high B concentrations than do green-leafed cultivars. We hypothesised that foliar(More)
Cell suspension cultures of Sonchus oleraceus L. provide a continuous, efficient system for the production of low molecular weight antioxidants (LMWAs) unhindered by climatic and phenological effects. Because climatic and edaphic factors are known to increase LMWA levels in intact plants, our aim was to study possible effects of abiotic stressors on(More)