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Re: Iron and red plants

Date: Mon, 1 Nov 1999 15:23:06 -0600
From: Mark Fisher <Mark.Fisher at tpwd_state.tx.us>
Subject: RE: Iron and red plants

>No.  Red plants get their color from a non-photosynthetic pigment called
>anthocyanin, which does not contain iron or any other metal.  This
>water-soluble pigment is present in the cytosol, not in the chloroplasts
>like other plant pigments (e.g., chlorophyll, xanthophyll).  Anthocyanin
strongly absorbs light in the UV region, and is thought to act as a
>"sunscreen" for potentially-damaging UV radiation, as it is found in the
>upper epidermis.  Plant leaves have been shown to accumulate anthocyanin
>response to strong light.

    Isn't anthocyanin formation  mainly the result of sugar breakdown
(oxidation) in response to light? Another source for red plants is a series
of enzymes that promote this breakdown and intensity of red color follows
the principles of Mendelian genetics. I believe Bacopa is used to illustrate
this. Does the "sunscreen" effect pertain to the anti-oxidant properties of
cyanin compounds? Do red plants use these pigments to absorb the effects of
excess light to protect chlorophyll instead of using carotene or