Comparison of photosynthetic pigment contents in stems and leaves of fruit trees: cherry, sweet cherry,
common plum, and walnut tree
Jan Pilarski*,**, Krzysztof Tokarz*, Maciej Kocurek*
**Institute of Plant Physiology
**Polish Academy of Science
**Niezapominajek 21, 30-239 Kraków, Poland
**Institute of Biology
**Świętokrzyska 15, 25-406 Kielce, Poland
The investigations were carried out on current-year, 1-, 2-, 3-year old stems and
leaves of fruit trees: cherry, sweet cherry, pear, common plum, and walnut. The
content of chlorophyll a and b and the sum of the carotenoids were determined.
In the examined species of trees, the content of chlorophyll increased with the
age of stems, except the cherry tree, in which its content decreased. The content of
chlorophyll in the current-year stems amounted from 1.6 to 2.2 mg dm-2, in 3-year
old stems it was 1.6-2.8 mg dm-2, and in leaves its amount varied from 2.7 to 4.5
mg dm-2. The 3-year old stems, when compared to the current-year stems,
contained about 40-50% more chlorophyll in common plum, walnut and pear trees,
and about 85% more in sweet cherry tree. In the cherry tree the amount of
chlorophyll decreased by 15% during the time of the experiment. In comparisonwith the leaves, the stems contained similar amounts of chlorophyll in sweet cherry
and walnut trees, or smaller amounts in the common plum tree by about 40%, in
the pear tree - by about 50%, and in the cherry trees by nearly 70%. In all the trees
the value of the chlorophyll a/b ratio in the stems was considerably smaller in
comparison with the leaves.
The content of carotenoids in the current-year stems varied from 0.5 to 1.4 mg
dm-2, and with age of the stems it increased to 0.6-1.4 mg dm-2 in the 3-year old
stems, and in the leaves it amounted from 0.9 to 1.3 mg dm-2. Compared to the leaves,
the stems contained similar amounts of carotenoids in sweet cherry and
common plum trees, whereas the amount of carotenoids was higher in the leaves of
the cherry and pear trees and smaller in the leaves of walnut tree.
The ratio of the content of chlorophyll to that of carotenoids oscillated from
2 to 4. In the stems and leaves of the sweet cherry and the pear trees it was similar.
In the common plum and walnut trees its value in the leaves was higher in
comparison with that in the stems, and in the current-year stems of the cherry and
plum trees it was grater in comparison with older year groups of stems.
The results demonstrated that in most examined species bark chlorophyll
content increased with the age of stems, the fact not reported in the literature
Pilarski J., Tokarz K., Kocurek M., 2007. Comparison of
photosynthetic pigment contents in stems and leaves of fruit
trees: cherry, sweet cherry, common plum, and walnut tree. Folia
Horticulturae 19/1: 53-65.