We examined the effects of geminivirus infection on fitness components and on photosynthetic properties of the host plant, Eupatorium makinoi, grown at two irradiance levels in a natural-light greenhouse. Under the low-light condition (13% full sunlight), more than a half of the infected plants died during the 9-mo experiment, while most of uninfected plants survived. Growth rate was also lowered by infection. At high light (50% full sunlight), by contrast, virus infection did not cause mortality despite slight decrease in growth rate. Flowering occurred only at high light, and reproductive outputs of the plants were markedly reduced by the infection. Infected leaves had distinct yellow variegations and, when compared with uninfected leaves, they showed (1) comparable light-saturated photosynthetic rate per unit area, but (2) lower initial slope of light-response curve of photosynthesis on an incident irradiance basis. The lower initial slope was mainly due to reduction of light-harvesting chlorophyll-protein complexes in the variegated parts. Since the differences in plant performance, depending both on infection and on growth irradiance, were largely explained by the differences in growth rate and/or plant size, the reduced photosynthetic production in the infected plants would be a major factor explaining the inferior performance of the host plants.
- Eupatorium makinoi
- Light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b binding protein
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Plant Science