Content of carotenoids in needles of Pinus sylvestris L. growing in polluted areaDendrobiology 2001, vol. 46: 39-42 Full text (pdf)
Abstract: Carotenoids (neoxanthin, violaxanthin, lutein and β-carotene) present in plant cell play a role in photoprotection. Industrial pollution causes oxidative stress in plants, while carotenoids react with free radicals and dissipate the excess of excitation energy. In this way carotenoids prevent the negative influence of free radicals on metabolism and can even restore some of the damages. This is confirmed by results of our analysis of the level of xanthophylls in 16 and 17-year-old trees of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.). Developed from seed collected in north-eastern, the trees grow in a relatively unpolluted control site, and in a polluted site located 2 km for away from the Phosphorus Fertilizer Works. In the polluted site the environment is contaminated with SO2, NOx and F, Al, F, Pb, Cu. The needles analysed in this study were visually undamaged. Material was collected in experimental plot from 6 trees in October'98 and April'99, between 12.00 and 13.00 hours, at full sunlight. The pigments were analysed quantitatively and qualitatively by thin-layer chromatography. The paper presents results of content and distribution of neoxanthin, violaxanthin, lutein and β-carotene of Scots pine needles from a healthy control tree and a stressed tree. Marked differences in pigment levels depended on the stage of needle development and level of pollution.
Additional key words: thin-layer chromatography, carotenoids, β-carotene, lutein, neoxanthin, violaxanthin, Scots pine, air pollution, heavy metals