Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2014, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (7): 740-748.DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1258.2014.00069

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of low light stress on rubisco activity and the ultrastructure of chloroplast in functional leaves of peanut

WU Zheng-Feng1, SUN Xue-Wu1, WANG Cai-Bin1,**(), ZHENG Ya-Ping1,**(), WAN Shu-Bo2, LIU Jun-Hua3, ZHENG Yong-Mei1, WU Ju-Xiang1, FENG Hao1, YU Tian-Yi1   

  1. 1Shandong Peanut Research Institute, Qingdao, Shandong 266100, China
    2Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Ji’nan 250100, China
    3Department of Life Sciences, Binzhou University, Binzhou, Shandong 256600, China
  • Received:2014-02-26 Accepted:2014-04-01 Online:2014-02-26 Published:2014-07-10
  • Contact: WANG Cai-Bin,ZHENG Ya-Ping
  • About author:First author contact:

    * Co-first author


Aims In recent years, intercropping system has become one of the major practice of peanut (Arachis hypogaea) cultivation in northern China because of the high land and energy utilization efficiency, to some extent compen- sating for the production loss caused by decreasing area of cultivation land. Intercropped peanut plants often have a lower pod yield compared with monoculture due to constraint on light availability. This study was conducted to explore the shade-tolerance mechanism in two peanut cultivars, ‘Huayu 22’ and ‘Baisha 1016’, that grew in an intercropping system, by studying chloroplast ultrastructure and rubisco activity under different levels of shading.
Methods A field experiment was conducted with three levels of light treatments, including full natural light (CK), 50% natural light indensity (NLI), and 15% NLI. The ‘Huayu 22’ was used as a shade-tolerant cultivar and the ‘Baisha 1016’ as a shade-susceptible cultivar based on previous studies. Experimental plants of both cultivars were shaded for 40 days from emergency in 2006. Rubisco activity, the number and shapes of chloroplasts and starch grains, and number of grana and granum lamella were investigated in functional leaves of plants in all treatments.
Important findings The functional leaves of peanut plants in the 50% and 15% NLI treatments had a lower rubisco activity than those in the CK treatment. In the ‘Baisha 1016’, the reduction in rubisco activity was 40.1% in the 50% NLI treatment and 59.4% in the 15% NLI treatment, respectively, compared to the CK treatment; whereas no significant differences were found among treatments in the ‘Huayu 22’ in the rubisco activity. Compared with the CK, the number of chloroplasts remained unchanged, the number of grana and lamella in grana increased, and the individual chloroplast was longer and in perfect development in the functional leaves of plants of the ‘Huayu 22’ grown in the 50% NLI treatment. In contrast, the number of chloroplasts, grana and starch grains of the ‘Huayu 22’ plants decreased significantly, the chloroplast membrane and grana lamella were damaged, the number of granum lamella increased, and the individual chloroplast became longer in the 15% NLI treatment. The number and ultrastructure of chloroplasts in the ‘Baisha 1016’ plants followed similar patterns of changes as those of the ‘Huayu 22’ in the 50% NLI treatment. For plants of the ‘Baisha 1016’ in the 15% NLI treatment, their chloroplasts became more roundly shaped, with decreasing number of grana lamella and increasing number of starch grains, compared with the CK. There were a greater decrease in the grana number and more damage in the grana lamella in plants of the ‘Baisha 1016’ than those of the ‘Huayu 22’. In conclusion, the shade tolerance of the ‘Huayu 22’ resulted from lack of changes in rubisco activity and less damage in the ultrastructure of chloroplasts when under low light stress compared with the ‘Baisha 1016’.

Key words: chloroplast ultrastructure, ‘Huayu 22’, low light stress, peanut, Rubisco