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Re: yellow color in Hosta


Ben pointed out to me that yellow sports are not devoid of chlorophyll, but
the yellow accessory pigments dominate the color of the leaf.  I should have
made this clear.  I wrote the post very late last night, so I guess I did
not make it clear that it is the accessory pigments, not chlorophyll, that
protect the photosynthetic apparatus from the chemical reactions triggered
by photons from the sun.  My attempts to simplify some of this material can
lead to confusion, but the basic concepts are the same.  Remove most of the
chlorophyll and you get yellow, remove both pigments and you get white.

It is also true that as you remove chlorophyll, you remove plant vigor.  All
the energy used by the plant is made by the chlorophyll dependent capture of
sunlight energy and its conversion into sugar.  When you put a white center
in a Hosta leaf, you have a plant that is producing a lot of energy
consuming tissue (white) without producing any energy in that tissue.
Therefore, white centered sports grow slower than their all green parents.
Note also that it has to do with efficiency of the photosynthetic apparatus.
A yellow plant grows better in more sun than shade where the efficiency of
light capture (by chlorophyll) is not as important.  Note also that plants
grown in deep shade usually have a darker color (more chlorophyll) in order
to efficiently capture the fewer photons coming to the plant from the sun,

Jim Anderson

-----Original Message-----
From: zonneveld <zonneveld@rulbim.leidenuniv.nl>
To: jmanise@WinterberryFarms.com <jmanise@WinterberryFarms.com>
Date: Thursday, August 19, 1999 4:19 AM
Subject: yellow

>you state:
>Take a chloroplast, remove the chlorophyll and you have yellow.

Do you really think as did J Hawes before you, that a yellow plant is
devoid of chlorophyl?How would you think a yellow plant could survive
without any chlorophyl? By the way chlorophyl  is there not to
protect agains light but to catch the light to make sugar
Ben J.M.Zonneveld
Clusius lab pobox 9505
2300 RA Leiden
The Netherlands

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