Biosynthetic events required for lag elimination in chlorophyll synthesis in Euglena


Levulinic acid, a competitive inhibitor of δ aminolevulinic acid dehydratase, cycloheximide, an inhibitor of translation on 89s cytoplasmic ribosomes, and chloramphenicol, an inhibitor of translation on 68s chloroplast ribosomes, are reversible inhibitors of light induced chlorophyll synthesis in resting Euglena gracilis Klebs. When dark grown resting cells are preilluminated for 2 h followed by darkness for 12 h prior to exposure to continuous light, the usual lag period in chlorophyll formation is eliminated. If cycloheximide, chloramphenicol, or levulinic acid are present during either the preillumination period or the subsequent dark period, the lag is reestablished. Only the very beginning of the dark period is sensitive to cycloheximide but the dark period is less sensitive to levulinic acid than is the light period. Exposure of preilluminated cells to cycloheximide or levulinic acid at the time of exposure to continuous illumination completely inhibits chlorophyll synthesis indicating that the potential for rapid chlorophyll synthesis generated by preillumination and a dark period does not result simply from the accumulation of porphyrin precursors. Preillumination has little effect on the development of the capacity to fix CO2 photosynthetically. These results indicate that the control of chlorophyll formation is more complex than in higher plants and a model based on the formation of certain crucial enzymes in the porphyrin pathway, rather than simply upon the accumulation of δ aminolevulinic acid is presented to explain the experimental findings. © 1976 Springer-Verlag.

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