Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Don’t Compare Bananas to Pears

23.06.2010
Unique blue fluorescent chlorophyll decomposition products in banana leaves

Yellow leaves on banana plants give off a blue glow when viewed under UV light. This luminescence comes from decomposition products of chlorophyll, the substance that makes leaves green.

The decomposition products are appended with special sugar molecules in a unique fashion (hypermodified), and accumulate in ageing leaves, as Bernhard Kräutler and his team from the University of Innsbruck (Austria) report in the journal Angewandte Chemie. The researchers speculate that these long-lived chlorophyll decomposition products have physiological significance.

In other higher plants, such as apples and pears, mainly colorless, nonfluorescent chlorophyll decomposition products are found. Fluorescing decomposition products have been detected in ageing leaves before, but these have been short-lived intermediate products of chlorophyll degradation. Some time ago, Kräutler and his co-workers discovered that bananas give off a blue glow under UV light. As the bananas ripen, chlorophyll decomposition products that are colorless, but fluoresce blue, accumulate in the banana peel.

The compounds in the banana peels and leaves differ from each other, but they are both long-lived (persistent). In addition, the compounds have a structural similarity: a unique, complex ester function on a specific side chain. This group has a chemical stabilizing effect and explains the unusually long life of the fluorescing intermediates in the banana and its leaves. The leaf decomposition product, called Ma-FCC-61, is a pyrrole pigment with a previously unknown sugar unit attachment. The researchers do not rule out that this novel chlorophyll decomposition product could be a building block for previously undetected and even more complex pigments.

“When leaves of plants de-green and when fruits ripen, they develop fascinating colors,” says Kräutler. “Bright colors of fruit are believed to have evolved as valuable signals to attract frugivores, which are needed for seed dispersal. Indeed, the blue luminescence of ripe bananas may fulfill such a role,” according to Kräutler. The additional “advertisement” of fruit with colorful and possibly luminescent leaves could be a further optical signal from fruiting plants. “In any case, we need to reconsider the previous assumption that chlorophylls in ageing leaves are always disposed of by a general route leading to nonfluorescent decomposition products,” says Kräutler.

Author: Bernhard Kräutler, Universität Innsbruck (Austria), http://pc43-c726.uibk.ac.at/oci/people/en_bernhard_kraeutler.html

Title: Hypermodified Fluorescent Chlorophyll Catabolites: Source of Blue Luminescence in Senescent Leaves

Angewandte Chemie International Edition 2010, 49, No. 30, Permalink to the article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.201000294

Bernhard Kräutler | Angewandte Chemie
Further information:
http://pressroom.angewandte.org
http://pc43-c726.uibk.ac.at/oci/people/en_bernhard_kraeutler.html

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth
09.12.2016 | Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

nachricht Plant-based substance boosts eyelash growth
09.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>