Get access

Natural developmental variations in leaf and plant senescence in Arabidopsis thaliana

Authors

  • S. Balazadeh,

    1.  Department of Molecular Biology, University of Potsdam, Institute of Biochemistry and Biology, Potsdam-Golm, Germany
    2.  Max-Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Potsdam-Golm, Germany
    Search for more papers by this author
  • S. Parlitz,

    1.  Department of Molecular Biology, University of Potsdam, Institute of Biochemistry and Biology, Potsdam-Golm, Germany
    Search for more papers by this author
  • B. Mueller-Roeber,

    1.  Department of Molecular Biology, University of Potsdam, Institute of Biochemistry and Biology, Potsdam-Golm, Germany
    2.  Max-Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Potsdam-Golm, Germany
    Search for more papers by this author
  • R. C. Meyer

    1.  Max-Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Potsdam-Golm, Germany
    2.  Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research, Gatersleben, Germany
    Search for more papers by this author

  • Guest editor
    K. Krupinska

B. Mueller-Roeber, Department of Molecular Biology, University of Potsdam, Institute of Biochemistry and Biology, Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 24-25, Haus 20, 14476 Potsdam-Golm, Germany.
E-mail: bmr@uni-potsdam.de

Abstract

Leaf senescence is a developmentally regulated process that contributes to nutrient redistribution during reproductive growth and finally leads to tissue death. Manipulating leaf senescence through breeding or genetic engineering may help to improve important agronomic traits, such as crop yield and the storage life of harvested organs. Here, we studied natural variations in the regulation of plant senescence among 16 Arabidopsis thaliana accessions. Chlorophyll content and the proportion of yellow leaves were used as indicator parameters to determine leaf and plant senescence respectively. Our study indicated significant genotype effects on the onset and development of senescence. We selected three late- and five early-senescence accessions for further physiological studies. The relationship between leaf and plant senescence was accession-dependent. There was a significant correlation between plant senescence and the total number of leaves, siliques and plant bolting age. We monitored expression of two senescence marker genes, SAG12 and WRKY53, to evaluate progression of senescence. Our data revealed that chlorophyll content does not fully reflect leaf age, because even fully green leaves had already commenced senescence at the molecular level. Integrating senescence parameters, such as the proportion of senescent leaves, at the whole plant level provided a better indication of the molecular status of the plant than single leaf senescence parameters.

Ancillary