Photosynthetic carbon assimilation and associated metabolism in relation to water deficits in higher plants

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Lawlor, D. W. and Cornic, G. 2002. Photosynthetic carbon assimilation and associated metabolism in relation to water deficits in higher plants. Plant, Cell and Environment. 25 (2), pp. 275-294.

AuthorsLawlor, D. W. and Cornic, G.

Experimental studies on CO(2) assimilation of mesophytic C3 plants in relation to relative water content (RWC) are discussed. Decreasing RWC slows the actual rate of photosynthetic CO(2) assimilation (A) and decreases the potential rate (A(pot)). Generally, as RWC falls from c. 100 to c. 75%., the stomatal conductance (g(s)) decreases, and with it. However, there are two general types of relation of A(pot) to RWC, which are called Type 1 and Type 2. Tape 1 has two main phases. As RWC decreases from 100 to c. 75%, A(pot) is unaffected, but decreasing stomatal conductance (g,) results in smaller A, and lower CO(2) concentration inside the leaf (C(i)) and in the chloroplast (C(c)), the latter falling possibly to the compensation point. Down-regulation of electron transport occurs by energy quenching mechanisms, and changes in carbohydrate and nitrogen metabolism are considered acclimatory, caused by low C(i) and reversible by elevated CO(2). Below 75% RWC, there is metabolic inhibition of A(pot), inhibition of A then being partly (but progressively less) reversible by elevated CO(2); g(s) regulates A progressively less, and C(i) and CO(2) compensation point, Gamma rise. It is suggested that this is the true stress phase, where the decrease in A(pot) is caused by decreased ATP synthesis and a consequent decreased synthesis of RuBP. In the Type 2 response, A(pot) decreases progressively at RWC 100 to 75%, with A being progressively less restored to the unstressed value by elevated CO(2). Decreased g(s) leads to a lower C(i) and C(c) but they probably do not reach compensation point: g(s) becomes progressively less important and metabolic limitations more important as RWC falls. The primary effect of low RWC on A(pot) is most probably caused by limited RuBP synthesis, as a result of decreased ATP synthesis, either through inhibition of Coupling Factor activity or amount due to increased ion concentration. Carbohydrate synthesis and accumulation decrease. Type 2 response is considered equivalent to Type I at RWC below c. 75%, with A(pot) inhibited by limited ATP and RuBP synthesis, respiratory metabolism dominates and C(i) and Gamma rise. The importance of inhibited ATP synthesis as a primary cause of decreasing A(pot) is discussed. Factors determining the Type 1 and Type 2 responses are unknown. Electron transport is maintained (but down-regulated) in Types 1 and 2 over a wide range of RWC, and a large reduced/oxidized adenylate ratio results. Metabolic imbalance results in amino acid accumulation and decreased and altered protein synthesis. These conditions profoundly affect cell functions and ultimately cause cell death. Type 1 and 2 responses may reflect differences in g. and in sensitivity of metabolism to decreasing RWC.

KeywordsPlant Sciences
Year of Publication2002
JournalPlant, Cell and Environment
Journal citation25 (2), pp. 275-294
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Open accessPublished as non-open access
Funder project or code413
Project: 011264
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online11 Mar 2002

Permalink -

Restricted files

Publisher's version

Under embargo indefinitely

291 total views
2 total downloads
1 views this month
0 downloads this month