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My daily picture – Why the leaves turn yellow in fall?

Every autumn we see how the leaves of the trees turn from green to yellow, orange, and then into different shades of red. This delightful color show can be explained very easily by a few notions of chemistry. We all know that the green color of the leaf is given by the chlorophyll. Along with chlorophyll there are other pigments in leaves such as carotenes and anthocyanin. The amount of these pigments present in the leaves changes throughout the year. What I have written here is a simple explanation of the process and it is not a scientific explanation!, spring and summer chlorophyll giving the green leaf color is the majority and the fall leaves produce less chlorophyll, so the leaves are no longer green. As the content of chlorophyll decreases, the other pigments in the leaf become more intense and the leaves become yellow.

Beta-carotene is responsible for coloring the leaf in yellow while anthocyanin gives the red colors.

  • Did you know betacarotene is responsible for coloring the leaf in yellow

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Written by Ileana Calotescu


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