STUDIES ON AIR-ION-ENHANCED IRON CHLOROSIS. I. ACTIVE AND RESIDUAL IRON,
CALIFORNIA UNIV BERKELEY
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The effects of positive and negative air ions on the active and residual iron fractions of barley seedlings were studied during the course of iron chlorosis. Active iron is that fraction localized in the chloroplasts which dissolves in 1.0 N HC1 and participates in the biosynthesis of chlorophyll. Residual iron is not soluble in 1.0 N HC1 and is not concerned with the biosynthesis of chlorophyll. Air ions of either charge induced a significant decrease in active iron content which was associated with a decrease in chlorophyll content. Concomitantly there occurred an increase in both the residual iron and the cytochrome c fractions of the seedlings. There is evidence that the rise in residual iron content may involve not only cytochrome c but also other cytochromes and iron-containing enzymes as well. We have theorized that the site of air ion action in the experiments reported may be the regulatory systems controlling iron metabolism in the seed and young seedling. Through this action air ions apparently divert endogenous free-state iron from conversion to active iron and make it available for the production of a number of iron-containing compounds which are components of the residual iron fraction.