Abstract. An analysis of three biochemical parameters during growth of white mustard in continuous white light (WL) has been undertaken at 10°, 15° and 20°C. The time required for anthocyanin and chlorophyll content and nitrate reductase [E.C. 1661 NAD(P)H: nitrate oxidoreductase] activity (NRA) to reach a peak in the cotyledons is shown to be temperature dependent, the rise in chlorophyll content being delayed to a much greater extent than anthocyanin content. In addition, with NRA, there is a significant increase in the level of the peaks with a lowering of temperature.
The NRA in dark-grown plants has been investigated in detail at 10°C. The pre-competence time for this response is increased to 20–24 h, compared with 14 h in seeds grown at 25°C. Other responses are affected far more by the lower temperature; for example, time for 50% loss of photoreversibility of a red (R) pulse in 48-h-old seeds is approximately 13 h, compared with 8 min in seeds grown at 25°C. At 25°C, light treatments during precompetence have been found to increase significantly the effectiveness of a subsequent R pulse on NRA; at 10°C, this effect appears to be almost entirely absent.