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Re: cells and chloroplasts (depicted on the color wheel)


You asked for a simple explanation of leaf colors.  This should be simple
topic, but it is not.  First, there are really two colors in Hosta, not
three.  The first is green caused by the various chlorophyll pigments in the
chloroplast.  Second, there is yellow caused by yellow accessory pigments in
the chloroplast.  These pigments help protect the photosynthetic apparatus
from harm due to the bright light the leaf is subjected to.  They are always
present in a normal chloroplast.  Take a chloroplast, remove the chlorophyll
and you have yellow.  Extra yellow relative to green leads to lime green.
Finally, there is white which actually is the absence of the other pigments.
Hosta breeders would like to get us a third color, the red (anthocyanins)
found in the stems of some Hosta.

That is the simple part.  It gets complicated due to the type of
chloroplasts that are present, and how the chloroplasts, and chloroplast
pigments, develop in the leaf tissue.  You can have green chloroplasts that
loose the chlorophyll with time (turn yellow).  You can have yellow
chloroplasts that later produce chlorophyll and turn green.  You can bleach
to white by loosing both pigments. There apparently are temperature
dependent developmental processes where chlorophyll and accessory pigment
are synthesized only after the temperature reaches a critical point (Night
Before Christmas).  There apparently are also several light dependent
processes that regulate pigment levels in bright or low light.  I have
probably listed only a few of the chloroplast regulatory processes that can
occur in Hosta, but you can see that many combinations are possible.

Jim Anderson

-----Original Message-----
From: LakesideRM@aol.com <LakesideRM@aol.com>
To: hosta-open@mallorn.com <hosta-open@mallorn.com>
Date: Wednesday, August 18, 1999 3:04 PM
Subject: Re: cells and chloroplasts (depicted on the color wheel)

>Dan you gave me a color wheel in Ann Arbor and Jim brought me another two
>weeks ago. Thanks to both of you.  It is great except the greens are not
> I think I understand about the three colors in plants Like Lakeside Love
>Affaire and Lakeside Meter Maid.  These seem to make sense to my simple
> Then along comes Lakeside Symphony and confuses me again.  In the spring
>there is one color.  Soon there are two colors but by mid summer, if the
>plant receives enough light, there are three colors.  Then there is
>San Kao.  In the spring it is lime, later it is bright yellow now it is
>almost white with bright green veins.  Is this all a result of light or do
>have different layers there?  I refer to my plants since these I feel most
>comfortable in describing.
>All of this is different from the seedlings that I have been observing.
>example there are at least two that have a creamy yellow color, a deep
>color and a rosy or pinkish yellow color plus the white or green colors.
>There must be several layers there.
>I don't know enough to get into this discussion.  I just have questions and
>guess lack the ability to understand the answers.  Make it simple guys.
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