Photorespiration in C4 grasses remains slow under drought conditions

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Carmo-Silva, A. E., Powers, S. J., Keys, A. J., Arrabaca, M. C. and Parry, M. A. J. 2008. Photorespiration in C4 grasses remains slow under drought conditions. Plant, Cell and Environment. 31 (7), pp. 925-940.

AuthorsCarmo-Silva, A. E., Powers, S. J., Keys, A. J., Arrabaca, M. C. and Parry, M. A. J.

The CO(2)-concentrating mechanism present in C(4) plants decreases the oxygenase activity of ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) and, consequently, photorespiratory rates in air. Under drought conditions, the intercellular CO(2) concentration may decrease and cause photorespiration to increase. The C(4) grasses Paspalum dilatatum Poiret, Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. and Zoysia japonica Steudel were grown in soil and drought was imposed by ceasing to provide water. Net CO(2) assimilation (A) and stomatal conductance to water vapour decreased with leaf dehydration. Decreased carbon and increased oxygen isotope composition were also observed under drought. The response of A to CO(2) suggested that the compensation point was zero in all species irrespective of the extent of drought stress. A slight decrease of A as O(2) concentration increased above 10% provided evidence for slow photorespiratory gas exchanges. Analysis of amino acids contained in the leaves, particularly the decrease of glycine after 30 s in darkness, supported the presence of slow photorespiration rates, but these were slightly faster in Cynodon dactylon than in Paspalum dilatatum and Zoysia japonica. Although the contents of glycine and serine increased with dehydration and mechanistic modelling of C(4) photosynthesis suggested slightly increased photorespiration rates in proportion to photosynthesis, the results provide evidence that photorespiration remained slow under drought conditions.

KeywordsPlant Sciences
Year of Publication2008
JournalPlant, Cell and Environment
Journal citation31 (7), pp. 925-940
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
PubMed ID18331589
Open accessPublished as non-open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeCentre for Crop Genetic Improvement (CGI)
Centre for Mathematical and Computational Biology (MCB)
Project: 4557
Grant IDBBS/E/C/00004557

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