Photoprotective Mechanisms of `Concord' Grape Leaves in Relation to Iron Supply

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 Department of Horticulture, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853

The objective of this study was to quantify how photoprotective mechanisms in the leaves of `Concord' grapevines (Vitis labruscana Bailey) respond to a range of iron (Fe) supply. Own-rooted, 1-year-old container-grown vines were fertigated twice weekly for 11 weeks with a complete nutrient solution containing 1, 10, 20, 50, or 100 μm Fe from ferric ethylenediamine di (o-hydroxyphenylacetic) acid (Fe-EDDHA). Leaf total Fe content did not increase in response to Fe supply; however, “active” Fe (extracted with 2,2′-dipyridyl) and chlorophyll (Chl) increased on a leaf area basis as applied Fe increased. At the lowest active Fe level, leaf absorptance and the efficiency of excitation transfer (Fv′/Fm′) was lower, and nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ) was significantly greater. Photosystem II (PSII) quantum efficiency decreased curvilinearly, and the proportion of PSII reaction centers in the open state (qP) decreased linearly as active Fe content decreased. On a Chl basis, the xanthophyll cycle pool size [violaxanthin (V) + antheraxanthin (A) + zeaxanthin (Z)], lutein, and β-carotene increased curvilinearly as active Fe decreased, and neoxanthin (Neo) increased at the lowest Fe level. On a leaf area basis, as active Fe decreased, V+A+Z and β-carotene decreased curvilinearly, and lutein and Neo decreased linearly. At noon, conversion of V to A and Z increased as active Fe decreased. On a Chl basis, activities of antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD), monodehydroascorbate reductase (MDAR), and dehydroascorbate reductase (DHAR) increased curvilinearly, and glutathione reductase (GR) activity increased linearly as active Fe levels declined. Ascorbate peroxidase (APX) and catalase (CAT), on a Chl basis, were relatively constant. On a leaf area basis, a decrease in active Fe increased SOD and MDAR activity, whereas APX, CAT, DHAR and GR activity decreased. Antioxidant metabolites ascorbate (AsA), dehydroascorbate (DAsA), reduced glutathione (GSH) and oxidized glutathione (GSSG) also increased in response to Fe limitation when expressed on a Chl basis, whereas on a leaf area basis AsA and DAsA decreased and GSH increased curvilinearly. The GSH:GSSG ratio increased as active Fe declined, whereas the AsA:DAsA ratio did not change. In conclusion, both photoprotective mechanisms, xanthophyll cycle-dependent thermal dissipation and the ascorbate-glutathione antioxidant system, are enhanced in response to Fe deficiency to cope with excess absorbed light. In a low soil pH tolerant species such as V. labruscana, the foliar antioxidant system was upregulated in response to excess absorbed light from Fe deficiency-induced chlorosis, and there was no evidence of an increase in oxidative stress from high rates of applied Fe-EDDHA.

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