A technique involving solid-phase extractions and polyethylene h.p.l.c. suitable for the routine compositional analysis of the total protochlorophyllide pool of plants is described. The resynthesis kinetics of the individual components of the pool have been studied in briefly illuminated etiolated tissue of wheat (Triticum aestivum) and cucumber (Cucumis sativus) during subsequent redarkening. The data are interpreted in terms of a precursor-product relationship between the di- and mono-vinyl analogues of protochlorophyllide during their reaccumulation in darkness. The interconversion is assumed to be catalysed by an 8-vinyl reductase, which shows greater activity in wheat than in cucumber. Analyses of the redox state of the nicotinamide nucleotide of the pool during the process are compatible with NADPH as the cofactor of the putative reductase.
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